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Google’s Mobile-Friendly Algorithm Update

2 April 2015

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Did you know Google is checking to see if your Website is Mobile Friendly?

It’s no secret that Google — for all its power and influence — is a watchdog for unique website content, rewarding those with standout content and penalizing those who try to get by without it. But did you realize that this search engine giant is also checking to see if your website is mobile friendly? In fact, starting April 21st, Google will expand its use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal in search results, with an effect on mobile searches in all languages worldwide. The reasoning behind the move is so users can more readily get relevant and higher quality search results when making a query that will optimize according to the mobile device they are using. Planning your SEO strategy for mobile now in accordance to Google’s algorithm update is important to keep your organic rankings in place.

Relevance of Google’s Move in the Realm of Mobile Websites

It’s been hinted at for a few months now that Google would roll out this new plan, particularly after it introduced its mobile-friendly criteria, as well as a handy mobile friendly testing tool that you can use to see if you’re able to meet those criteria. If your site doesn’t pass the test, you will get a recommendation on what improvements you can make through a Mobile Usability Report. This is about the time that Google said it may begin applying that criteria in order to improve its mobile friendly ranking signals, so it’s really no surprise that this announcement has occurred. The numbers are all there: 80 percent of Internet users search for products and information online using their smart phones, according to Smart Insights. In addition, search engines are the most common starting point for research, with 48 percent originating from this source, with 33 percent starting on branded websites and 26 percent on branded apps.

Relevance in App Content

Another major announcement covered the use of more relevant app content within search results. Google will begin to utilize information from indexed apps when considering ranking for users who have installed the app, allowing it to surface content from indexed apps better within search. A step-by-step guide shows you exactly how to link the relationship between your web pages and app deep links.

Importance of Mobile-Friendly Sites

It’s no secret that today’s Internet browsers are primarily searching from their smart phones. Optimizing a website for ideal configuration on a mobile phone is crucial in promoting user satisfaction. According to Search Engine Watch, three quarters of consumers say they’re more likely to revisit mobile-friendly websites. Perhaps more startling is that users are five times more likely to leave the site — including abandoning their shopping or research tasks — if the site is not mobile friendly. Nearly 80 percent of those people say they will automatically move on to a competitor to meet their needs.

Google recognizes the need to optimize mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal in search results, and this latest announcements is a big step in that direction.

Ramsey Sweis
President and Founder of Aqaba Technologies
LinkedIn: View Profile
Twitter: @AqabaTech

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