Quick Tips – What you can do now Google has altered search criteria to favour mobile

With Google’s recent move to become more mobile-centric we thought we’d make the Quick Tips this week on that. For those that don’t know, Google’s has moved to become more mobile-centric by altering its powerful search algorithm to give priority to websites that are mobile-friendly. By mobile-friendly, we mean those that retain full functionality and display on smartphones and tablet computers. Google itself has said this can have a “significant impact” on businesses reliant on the web, so here’s the headlines.
Google had no choice but to alter its algorithm, dubbed “mobilegeddon” by the tech press, because that’s increasingly where web users are – and ultimately you probably should be too. Not going after mobile users would have meant eventual irrelevancy for Google, and so the shift away from just the traditional website was probably inevitable.
You may not yet have noticed any changes to your search rankings, but that’s because the roll out of the Google update is not instant and could take several weeks before it’s fully implemented across all global markets. Google said the update would only apply to mobile search rankings and that it affects all languages.
There’s still time to take action to render your website mobile friendly, and you can start by checking if it is or not. Just use Google’s simple mobile-friendly test tool and you’ll know in seconds. It’s at https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/mobile-friendly. Most content management systems, such as WordPress and many others, easily allow for mobile rendering, meaning the change is only a few clicks away.
However, even if your site is not mobile-friendly and you’ve no immediate plans to make it so, all is not lost. Google said that although it’s now giving precedence to mobile over desktop and laptop, it will continue to use a stream of signals to determine the most relevant search results for users. This high level of search accuracy is what, after all, has led Google to become a global search leader, commanding close to 70% market share worldwide.
So, for instance, if a search query matches high-quality content on a site that’s not configured for mobile, it could still be featured high in the search rankings, Google says. But the company nonetheless warns that if a “site’s pages aren’t mobile-friendly, there may be a significant decrease in mobile traffic from Google Search.”
We all know that digital marketing occurs in an ever-changing landscape, but hopefully this Quick Tips will keep you up to speed.
 

Image “Firefox Mobile for Android​” by Johan Larsson licensed under Creative commons 4
 
The Quick Tips series is intended as a 2 minute read on digital marketing things – from recent changes in the scene and how to accommodate them, to tips from other digital marketers we know.