Is your website mobile-friendly? Not just, how does it look on a mobile phone, but is it being ranked by Google as being mobile-friendly?
Beginning on April 21, Google will be using mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal. According to their the official Google Webmaster Central Blog, “This change will affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide and will have a significant impact in our search results. Consequently, users will find it easier to get relevant, high quality search results that are optimized for their devices.”
Since over 60% of web searches are done on mobile phones, Google has decided that it can take advantage of this behavior, so that users can have the best and most efficient experience possible.
When users search for your website, Google will order the results on your mobile device that is based on the mobile friendliness of the website they are searching for. There will even be a tag in the search results that says “Mobile-friendly”, as shown below.
In a Google+ hangout, Mary, from the Webmaster team, explained that “if you have the mobile-friendly label in the search results, which is the same as showing up as mobile friendly, if you use our mobile friendly testing tool, then your site will be considered mobile friendly in our ranking change. Keep in mind that it is on a per page basis.”
Jill Kocher explained that “Page by page means that each page’s mobile friendliness is judged separately. That’s good news if your ecommerce catalog is mobile friendly but your forums or other content sections are not. The unfriendly sections will not cause your entire site to be ranked as unfriendly. Real time means that you can expect to see the mobile ranking benefit of making your site mobile friendly right away. The next time Googlebot crawls your pages and determines that they are newly mobile friendly, the mobile-friendly ranking algorithm would kick in for those pages. This is especially good news because some algorithm updates have been processed on a monthly or unknown time cycle and applied to the algorithm in batches.”
What effect will this have on your business? It’s difficult to know, but Google’s Zineb Ait Bahajji says it will have more of an impact than Panda or Penguin.