Many have speculated as to what Google intends to do with mobile search. Is mobile actually a ranking factor and if so, how important is it? If mobile isn’t yet a ranking factor, will this change soon? A recent announcement by the search giant on Webmaster Central has answered all of these questions.
What Google Said
A lot of search engine optimization experts have predicted that an optimal SEO strategy will include a website that is mobile-friendly for 2015. Google’s recent announcement confirms these predictions. One Google ranking signal will be expanded: mobile-friendliness. In the announcement, Google said that as of April 21, mobile-friendliness will be taken into consideration when delivering results for mobile searches in all languages and for all world regions.
Why You Need to be Mobile-Friendly
Google’s announcement was designed to help webmasters who haven’t yet adapted their websites to mobile to work on making needed changes. Having a mobile-friendly website will become very important after April 21, as it is obvious that Google rankings will be better for mobile-friendly websites in mobile search. On the other hand, those who didn’t take any action to make their websites mobile-friendly are likely to experience a big drop in their rankings on mobile search.
What’s Coming Next?
Up until recently, having a mobile-friendly website would simply give a business an advantage over their competitors as far as a mobile search was concerned. But with the recent announcement from Google, it is likely that mobile-friendly websites will become the norm in many industries as various organizations try to keep their positions in mobile search rankings. The advantage will then go to those that are able to give the best possible mobile browsing experience to their visitors. This means a website that is fully functional and easy to browse on a variety of mobile platforms and adapted to the different screen sizes that mobile devices have.
Another possibility is that responsive websites will rank higher on Google over websites that are designed specifically for mobile devices. This isn’t too surprising, considering the fact that Google has stated that they prefer responsive design as a mobile solution. Responsive design offers a better user experience in general due to being less prone to errors on different mobile platforms when compared to “built for mobile” sites. Some companies that use dedicated mobile and desktop sites as opposed to a single responsive site design have reported facing various issues with their Google rankings.
This official announcement from Google leaves very little room for ambiguity. After April 21, organizations that have mobile-friendly websites will receive better treatment as far as mobile search results are concerned. Anyone that is serious about SEO will want to ensure that their website is mobile-friendly. If this is not the case for your site, you should start getting to work right away. Otherwise, it is very likely that your mobile search rankings will drop and you will thus lose out on potentially valuable visitors, who will instead end up visiting websites belonging to your competitors. Many have speculated as to what Google intends to do with mobile search. Is mobile actually a ranking factor and if so, how important is it? If mobile isn’t yet a ranking factor, will this change soon? A recent announcement by the search giant on Webmaster Central has answered all of these questions.