Google announced in March 2015 on the search engine giant’s Webmaster blog that it was going to give its mobile-friendly algorithm a boost, but what’s in store for 2016? Google said that this update would take place at the beginning of May and would increase the mobile-friendly ranking signal’s effect.
On April 21, 2015, you might remember that a significant change was implemented by Google to its Web search algorithm that has rewarded and favored companies subsequently who have mobile-friendly websites. That change, which is popularly referred to as “Mobilegddon,” means if after April 21, 2015 your website wasn’t optimized for use on mobile devices, that your sites ranking in Google would most likely be impacted negatively.
Hear it straight from Google:
“Starting April 21 (2015), 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.”
How will this 2016 update effect your business?
If your website is mobile-friendly already, according to Google, you don’t have anything to worry about since this update won’t impact you.
What is meant by a mobile-friend website exactly?
A mobile-friendly website automatically reformats whenever someone looks at a website from a mobile device like a tablet or smartphone.
A web page or website is considered to be “mobile-friendly” by Google when when it detects the following criteria:
- Links are spaced far enough apart so that the right one can be tapped easily.
- Content is sized on the screen so zoom or scrolling horizontally doesn’t need to be done by users.
- Utilizes text that can be read easily without needing to zoom.
- Avoids using software like Flash that isn’t commonly found on mobile devices
When it comes to mobile-friendly websites, there are basically two kinds:
1. Responsive Design Websites
This type of website automatically takes different features and content from a standard website automatically and reformats it so that it fits on all different screen sizes, which allows visitors to interact with the site easily, mo matter what kind of device is being used.
2. Mobile Specific Websites
This type of website is an abbreviated version of the standard website. Only the content and functionality that is considered to be the most necessary for mobile users is included, and still designed to fit a mobile device’s screen size properly.
What are the broader impacts of this most recent updates as well as the roll out?
When the update takes place, it is going to occur gradually. Therefore you most likely won’t be seeing a big drop-off for non-mobile-friendly websites. It isn’t clear if this is going to take place over the course of months or weeks. Google has only stated that its update would start to be rolled up at the beginning part of May.
The mobile-friendly algorithm is a kind of page-by-page signal. So it will take some time for each page to be assessed by Google. Depending on how long it takes Google to crawl and index each of the pages on your website, it may take some time before the impact to your website becomes evident.
Source: Search Engine Land