Google mobile search results now display a “mobile friendly” note. There had been rumors earlier that Google took mobile-friendliness as a serious factor for ranking.
Then Google itself confirmed that it was giving some value to this factor in its search rankings.
Now it has become clearer than ever that if your website is not mobile friendly, it can suffer on account of its search rankings.
Google has announced that it wants to make the web a mobile friendly environment and that it is making relevant changes to its algorithm.
It has even put up April 21 as the date when mobile-friendliness will become an important ranking factor than ever before.
This was seen as a deviation from Google’s earlier algorithm updates which were announced only a few days after being rolled out.
So you have some time before you could make the appropriate changes to your website to ensure that your rankings aren’t affected, at least not negatively.
There are speculations that the impact of the new mobile-friendly algorithm could be even bigger than that of Google Panda or Penguin.
This is probably because most of the websites are no mobile friendly.
Importance of Mobile Friendliness
Mobile traffic has shown significant growth in the last few years. Currently, almost 50% of the web traffic comes from mobile devices.
During the previous holiday season, more than 22% of online shopping was conducted through smartphones or tablets.
Google takes all these figures seriously and wants to deliver a better user experience to all these mobile visitors.
Test your Website
As Google has given a deadline, it is time you should start taking the steps to make your website mobile friendly.
The first step will be to determine whether your site is mobile friendly or not. Visit https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/mobile-friendly/ and enter your website’s URL in the box to conduct the test.
If your website fails the test, there can be any number of reasons.
The most common one could be that the text on your webpages could be too small to be read, or the mobile viewport may not be set, or the links may be too close.
If your website doesn’t pass the test, you should use the following strategies to ensure that your site is ready before April 21.
Mobile Friendly Strategies
Optimize your web pages so that your visitors will no longer have to zoom or scroll horizontally. Avoid using any software or plug-ins like Flash that may be incompatible.
This will also require optimizing the important mobile signals. Optimize your “rel” alternative/canonical link tags, redirects, download speed and page size.
There is much more needed to be done than ensuring that your site is mobile friendly. It will also be required to create a way to your app, and the best way to do so is to have an app deeplink.
You should also get your app content indexed. The search giant has already started taking app indexing into account for the way businesses get ranked in its organic search results.
Use all these strategies to ensure that your website is ready before Google rolls out its next big update.