Mobile Friendly Rankings – what it means to you.
Google have announced that from the 21st April 2015 they will reward websites that are Mobile Friendly. Google have used some carefully chosen wording, announcing mobile friendly designed websites will be rewarded in mobile search, rather than saying websites that are not mobile friendly will be penalised. So what does this mean? The long and short of it is that the only changes will be made to searches performed on mobile devices, search results returned on desktop computers should stop the same (for now).
Mobile Friendly Websites Rewarded
What this means is that if your website design is mobile friendly it will have a better search ranking than those websites that are not mobile friendly. We are also only talking talking mobile phones for the time being (not tablet). In essence if your website design is mobile friendly it is more likely to be returned in search results if someone is searching using a mobile phone. This is probably more important than you realise with mobile usage on the rise and many users only having mobile devices to access the web. For the the time being desktop search results will not be affected by the Google changes being introduced, it will only affect mobile search results.
What Makes a Website Mobile Friendly?
There are a number of factors that Google are looking for when deciding if a website is mobile friendly, the main ones being.
- Links should not be too close together (this includes the navigation buttons)
- Font Size – this should be clearly read-able on a mobile device
- Playable Content – making sure that non supported content are not used (e.g flash)
- Scaleable – make sure you can zoom in and out on content)
Google have said the mobile changes are not arbitrary, but they will affect mobile search rankings, and they may scale rankings due to the amount the website is mobile friendly. Google have said that although the changes will take place from 21 April 2015 it maybe a few days (even a week) before the changes are fully seen. Google said that the changes have been made as they recognise more people are accessing websites through mobiles than ever before and they want to reflect the user experience in the rankings. Googles preferred way of getting mobile friendly sites is for ‘responsive design websites’ although they recognise this may not suit all website designs and so as long as it is mobile friendly this will not affect the rankings. Googles last bit of advice to websmasters was not to concentrate on the new algorithm but to concentrate on getting good mobile friendly designed websites.
How to Check if Your Website is Mobile Friendly?
There are three ways to check
#1 search for your website on your mobile phone – in the serach results next to your website in the description snippet it will indicate ‘mobile friendly websites’
#2 Use the Google mobile friendly tool here and enter your website address
#3 Check in the websmaster tools to see if your site is mobile friendly.
What Happens if Website is not Mobile Friendly?
The results in the tool or webmaster tool will tell you what is wrong, you should either fix the errors yourself or inform your webmaster or webdesigner.
Mick Kenyon Website Designer, based in Ingleton, covering North Yorkshire, Cumbria and Lancashire for affordable mobile friendly websites. Call 07738 255499