Google searches to favour mobile-friendly sites

Clay Cook.

Google has announced that “mobile-friendliness” will now be a ranking factor in the algorithm it uses to determine where a website ranks in its search results.

It’s no surprise.

In 2014, mobile accounted for a quarter of all global web traffic. The trend continues to grow as more time-poor consumers turn to their mobiles to access information and make purchases on-the-go.

When users ‘google’ something on their laptop or desktop they expect the most relevant and timely results and it’s no different for mobile searches.

The new ranking signal will take effect from April 21.

“This change will affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide and will have a significant impact in our search results,” the announcement said.
“Consequently, users will find it easier to get relevant, high quality search results that are optimized for their devices.”

This ranking algorithm update shouldn’t surprise many digital marketers and webmasters. Over the past few years, Google has been actively encouraging website owners to make their websites mobile-friendly and this announcement could be just the push they need.

What does this mean for website owners?

If your website isn’t already optimised for mobile devices, then you better hop to it. It’s time to make the transition. Google clearly intends to reward mobile-friendly websites with better rankings in mobile search. Any websites that are not mobile-friendly may experience a decline in mobile rankings — and fewer consumers will find your site.

Webmasters wanting to test their site’s mobile compatibility should check out Google’s Mobile Friendly Test tool.
While in the past having a mobile-optimized website was seen as an advantage over competitors, it’s going to quickly become the norm. Don’t get left behind!

Clay Cook is chief executive at digital marketing agency Bonfire.

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