Latest posts by Jay Dillon (see all)
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- Why Placing Ads In Blogs Can Be A Negative - January 4, 2016
Who in the digital marketing world doesn’t want to rank higher on Google search results? In order to do that you must stay on top of the latest SEO news and rules. So far in 2015 it has become clear that mobile-optimisation is on its way to becoming a must. So much so that Google already announced its plans to expand the use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal and to penalise search rankings of sites that are not mobile-ised. This article will cover the specifics of Google’s requirements as well as how to make sure your website is mobile-optimised.
According to the announcement on its Webmaster Central blog, Google announced:
“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.”
In summary, if your website is not mobile-friendly, meaning your site is not responsive to different screen sizes, properly configured and able to be viewed on multiple device types, then you might end up getting penalised in search rankings by Google. All the valuable SEO your site has currently could be for nothing if your site isn’t viewable on a handy mobile device.
Google is letting us know that it has now made it easier to find mobile-friendly websites by making them appear higher on search results. Google search will also now start displaying and ranking content from mobile apps to better serve users. This is coming up more and more in search results:
The reasoning for this update is pretty obvious. As the world moves to mobile and more and more of our lives occur in a handheld device, it is vital for websites to keep up. Previous changes to Google’s algorithm only required website owners to make sure their websites were mobile-optimised, making them easier to view on smartphones and tablets. Here’s what the new changes mean and what small businesses need to do to take advantage of them: Google for Business: A Small Business Guide
It’s fair to agree that Google is once again shaping the digital landscape by rewarding mobile friendly sites.
Mobile-friendliness ranking: WHERE TO START?
To make your website “mobile-friendly,” Google suggests taking the following steps:
- Visit Google’s guide to mobile-friendly sites. This page offers several ways to make your site more mobile-friendly, either by using software or a third-party developer.
- Make sure to take Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test to see how optimised your website is for mobile viewing. You can test a single page on your site or several webpages and see exactly how Google’s own Googlebot views the pages when determining search results.
- Use Webmaster Tools to generate a Mobile Usability Report, which helps identify any issues with your website when viewed on a mobile device.
Effective immediately, Google will also factor content from mobile apps when ranking search results. Referred to as App Indexing, this new feature essentially indexes apps for content, then it shows those apps “more prominently” in search results.
*Note that this only works when users are signed in to Google and have the website’s mobile app installed on their devices.
Google does not automatically index app content. Webmasters will have to manually activate App Indexing for app content to be scanned and to appear on search results. To help you get started, Google offers this useful step-by-step guide to App Indexing.
If you do not pass the mobile test, you need to be making arrangements to update your website soon. When Google finds mobile so important that it has opted to provide a timeline for this update to encourage companies to make a transition–and relatively swiftly—then it should be taken seriously. Go mobile friendly. It’s about time.