New Google Algorithm Is Putting Mobile Friendly Websites First

It’s been hailed as more significant than both Panda and Penguin; Google’s latest algorithm change, due to come into force on April 21, is going to put mobile optimisation well and truly in the spotlight.  If you do not have a mobile friendly website, you are going to lose out – FACT.

google friendly mobile websites

Mobile usability has been an important part of Google’s algorithms, helping users to find mobile-friendly sites by ranking them higher on search results pages than their non-optimised equivalents.

Until now, however, these factors have been fairly ambiguous and somewhat limited – many simply did not know what factors were being used to rank mobile sites and how many were affected by the rules, which led to a sort of complacency where companies did not feel in any rush to optimise their sites.

Google Search Via Mobile  = 50+%

But as a recent Google Blog post notes, mobile and tablet devices are becoming an even greater part of our everyday lives and account for a significant proportion of internet browsing all over the world. And Google plays a big role in this trend – a 2014 study conducted by comScore found that 60% of all Google searches were carried out on a mobile device.

This means that Google has had to adapt to this trend to ensure that it moves in line with patterns of user behaviour – not only will this help to improve the user experience, but it also ensures that Google is making the most of increasing mobile traffic.

Its latest algorithm is expected to transform the way mobile optimisation is evaluated. According to Zineb Ait Bahajji, from Google’s Webmaster Trends team, the change is likely to have a greater impact on how we find websites than either Panda or Penguin, two of the most impactful Google algorithms to date.

Free Google Mobile Friendly Website Test

While the full details of how this will impact search engine rankings have not yet been released, mobile optimisation will need to become more of a priority for brands and companies in the run-up to April 21. Google stated in its blog post that:

“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.”

Google is offering two tools on its website so that site owners can check if their site is currently mobile-friendly – the Mobile-Friendly Test and the Mobile Usability Report. This means that if any issues do arise, they’ll have a bit of time to fix them – or risk the possibility of their website’s search visibility becoming seriously reduced.

Our Recommendations

Google announced in February it is making changes to its mobile search algorithm to give “mobile-friendly” sites — those with large text, easy-to-click links, or those with responsive design (which means webpages uses the same URL whether they are on desktop or mobile, but “respond” according to the screen size of the device) — higher rankings in search results.

myCloud Media recommends carrying out the following checks:

  • Make sure that Google’s bots are able to crawl your site, otherwise it is as good as invisible.
  • Check each individual page on your website to test if it’s mobile friendly – don’t assume that just because one page is, they will all be.
  • While it’s preferable to have a fully-responsive website, a separately hosted mobile version will also be read by Google – as long as it doesn’t interrupt the users’ experience, it doesn’t matter too much.

Our Findings – Mobile Friendly Websites

myCloud Media carried out research on 100 top Yorkshire business websites to determine whether companies in the region were ready for Google’s algorithm update.

We looked at key business category sectors in the run up to the Yorkshire Mafia’s Buy Yorkshire Conference using data from recent 2014 BHP Chartered Accountants 2014 Yorkshire Post research.

We used the Google Mobile Friendly Test tool to check each of the top 100 listed company websites.

9 company websites were not found via the search tool, a huge 60% of websites were not mobile friendly and just 31 websites passed the test with flying colours.

mobile friendly website analysis report april 2015

We also took a look at research from mobile marketing company Somo, who found brands set to be punished under the new update, which becomes effective on April 21, include:

  • The official website of the British Monarchy
  • David Beckham’s official site
  • MI5
  • The official website for the European Union
  • The Scottish National Party
  • Nintendo
  • Windows Phone
  • Versace
  • Next
  • American Apparel
  • RyanAir
  • Channel 4
  • Kellogg’s UK
  • Dyson
  • P&O Cruises
  • RyanAir
  • Clairol UK
  • Cotton Traders
  • Danone
  • Legal and General
  • The Daily Mail

Websites affected are not just limited to this list.  Read more at UK Business Insider

Tips for Businesses [Infographic]

The team at SumAll reviewed the upcoming changes and made this handy infographic with tips for businesses.

 

google april 21 mobile changes infographic

 

myCloud Media design, develop and help market mobile friendly websites for businesses across Yorkshire, UK and worldwide – we can help your company create a mobile ready responsive design website .  Please get in touch to learn more – 0800 849 0888

 

Article by : Tim Bennett

myCloud Media | Yorkshire Web Designers

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