Mobile-Friendliness Is to Become a Ranking Factor Following Google’s Algorithm Update In April

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Owners of non-mobile-friendly business websites have a big reason to worry.  Thanks of Google, this year mid-April is going to a little more troublesome than you have expected. On April 21st, Google will start the official update of its search algorithm. Following this update mobile-friendliness will be considered as a ranking factor in Google search results. Told you, it’s the year of mobile!

On February 26, Google has announced this decision via its Webmaster Blog

“Starting April 21, we will be expanding our use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal. 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.”

Now that pretty much sums it up.  Google has sent the message loud and clear – go mobile or go home.

Unless you were living under a rock somewhere without any connectivity, you must already have heard, read and already understood the importance of a mobile-friendly website in the present age. But if you are waking up from a five-year slumber – here’s the whole thing, in a nutshell –

  • In 2014, the total use of mobile data has surpassed that of desktop data.
  • According to Pew Internet, more than half Americans (58%) today have a smartphone and uses the mobile internet to search, connect and purchase.
  • Owing to this ever-increasing number of smartphone owners, business owners are opting for mobile-friendly website. A large section of those who already had a site have opted for a responsive design to increase their sales by reaching out to the Smartphone owners.
  • Prior to 2015, many experts predicted that 2015 will be the year of mobile web.
  • Search giant Google has been giving mobile thumbs up since 2013 hummingbird update. Last year in November, Google announced that it will include a mobile-friendly icon to sites with a responsive design in its mobile search results. On February 26, 2015, the search giant announced that from April 21 onwards it will consider mobile-friendliness as a ranking factor following its algorithm update on that date. If you think carefully, this was the next logical step for Google.

Google Introduces Label To Help Users Find Mobile-Friendly Pages

Alas! So much to do but so little time –must be your reaction. Don’t panic, it’s no rocket science.  With a little help, you can test the responsiveness of your website and make it mobile-friendly.  To help you, even Google has offered some useful tips in their blog.

Google’s guide to mobile-friendly sites can come as a savior to any non-mobile-friendly website owner at this point of time. It contains everything from a mobile-friendly test to steps, to customize website software for mobile users, to a guide to mobile SEO.

A second announcement was also made by Google on the same day via the same blog. According to it – “Starting today, we will begin to use information from indexed apps as a factor in ranking for signed-in users who have the app installed. As a result, we may now surface content from indexed apps more prominently in search. To find out how to implement App Indexing, which allows us to surface this information in search results, have a look at our step-by-step guide on the developer site.”

This is another interesting aspect of the announcement.  Since content from the installed app will play as a deciding factor in ranking for the signed-in users, it will mean that the contents from the app will get the limelight. This is going to change the way we see search results. And the change is already in the motion.

To cope with this change, website owners can now opt for an app. there is however, no necessity of having an app right away. However, in this age of ever increasing mobile users, having a mobile app can help you stay ahead of your competitors.

Mobile-Friendly Test
If you want to test a your pages, you can use the Mobile-Friendly Test.

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