GOOGLE SEARCH PROMOTES MOBILE-FRIENDLY SITES
The digital marketing scene has seen the rise of mobile-optimised sites – a trend no doubt prompted by the overwhelming use of mobile devices to access sites of businesses they are interested in – and with 90% of adults in the UK owning a mobile device, this really is no surprise. However, there’s also another underlying reason why we are seeing more and more companies focusing their efforts on making sure their websites are responsive – Google’s search algorithms favour mobile optimised sites on mobile search.
YOU’VE GOT A FRIEND IN ME
The tech giant’s ‘mobile friendliness’ criteria, which factors in the amount of space between links, text size and whether content fits appropriately across the screen of a mobile device, affects the prominence of websites as they appear on Google’s search results. While representatives of the company have previously described being mobile friendly as ‘one of many’ aspects taken into account by the search engine when ranking results, other statements by the business indicate that it would indeed have a ‘significant impact’ on search results.
“As people increasingly search on their mobile devices, we want to make sure they can find content that’s not only relevant and timely, but also easy to read and interact with on smaller mobile screens,” a Google representative has said.
THE ALGORITHM OF CHANGE
So why is this change taking place? Previously, Google’s ranking criteria analysed desktop web pages and provided mobile rankings based on that, rather than analysing the actual mobile web pages – meaning if your desktop site was fast, your rankings for mobile remained unaffected. With the introduction of the mobile-friendly algorithm, the search engine has done away with this issue, ensuring the page speed factor is mobile-specific rather than tied to its desktop version.
The milestone new mobile-friendly ranking algorithm designed for boosting pages which are mobile friendly further up the list of Google’s mobile search results was released by the tech giant on April 21st, 2015. Because of the significance of this change for digital marketing globally, this date has since become known by a number of names – the most common one being mobilegeddon, followed by the likes of mobilepocalypse, mobocalypse and mopocalypse.
According to Kevin Dallas, chief product officer at global payment processor Worldpay eCommerce, “This move by Google should send a message to companies whose websites are poorly configured for smartphone users that optimising for mobile is no longer a matter of choice,” which is a concern particularly relevant for online retailers.
WHAT THIS MEANS FOR YOUR BUSINESS?
As businesses are increasingly catching up with the trend towards mobile optimisation to aid their websites in appearing at the top of Google mobile search results, a company website that isn’t fully responsive has reduced opportunity at being discovered through a mobile search.
Google has its own Mobile-Friendly Test tool which you can use to find out whether your web pages are considered mobile-friendly. If you are looking for a more in-depth review of how to make your mobile pages more responsive, you can request a free digital audit directly from us at Spindogs and our team will come back to you with suggestions on how to optimise your site and ensure the success of your business.