The notion of mobile-friendly sites and responsive design is not new. But this time it is going to affect your rankings in a serious manner. Google is launching a mobile-friendly ranking algorithm on April 21st, 2015.
Mobile Search Evaluated On A Bigger Scale
It is not surprising that Google’s upcoming algorithm update is aimed at mobile search results since more than 80% of Internet users have smartphones these days. A few months ago if your website was not responsive it mostly meant frustrated visitors and lower traffic. And yes, your SEO efforts overall were affected, however, not that immensely. It is what’s coming next that should worry you. This is your last chance to make your website mobile-friendly before you will see negative results.
Hit or Miss
In their Q&A session Google clarified that there will be no degree or percentage of mobile-friendliness. You either pass the test or fail. Google now lets you test your webpage and see if you need to make any changes. Test your site with Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test Tool.
More Than Responsive Design
The new search update is not just about responsive design. Even if a website looks good on mobile, it may still fail the test. On their blog Google clarifies that a website has to meet certain criteria to be considered mobile-friendly. You will get the green light if your website:
- Avoids software that is not common on mobile devices (f.e Flash)
- Uses text that is readable (and that means no zooming)
- Sizes content to the screen so users don’t have to scroll horizontally (again no zooming)
- Places links far enough apart so that the correct one can be easily tapped
7 Mistakes to Avoid
Google also lists 7 common mistakes that you need to avoid to pass mobile-friendliness test. Each mistake is clearly explained in The Developer’s Guide. These include:
- Unplayable content
- Faulty redirects
- Mobile-only 404s
- App download interstitials
- Irrelevant cross-links
- Slow mobile pages
One of the ways to see if your web pages are mobile-friendly in Google’s eyes is to do search on your phone and see if you have the gray label in the mobile search results:
Make sure you check your website today and address all the issues before you risk your website’s rankings. Also keep in mind that your competition is most likely optimizing their websites right now if they haven’t already done so. Contact us now for mobile-friendly optimization of your website and we’ll be happy to help right away.
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