Does Google Want Your Site to be Mobile Optimised?
Google is forever changing the way in which it values your website, which can be seen through their ever many different algorithms. The most recent update was launched yesterday. Google has now introduced “mobile friendly” tags to websites that are seen as strongly mobile optimised. The reason Google has made this move is down to the growing number of searches made from non-desktop devices such as tablets, Android phones, iPhones and iPads.
How Does this Work?
I am sure that you are well accustomed to searching for websites on your mobile or tablet device and having the frustration of finding a poorly designed mobile site, which doesn’t really offer the easy user experience you require. With this in mind, in an attempt to increase its user experience, Google have started to scan websites to rate as mobile friendly.
When searching for any website on a mobile device, you can now tell which site will present you with a strong user interface. Google will have previously scanned the website, reviewing a range of criteria, to determine whether or not that site will work well on your mobile device.
Whether this affects rankings or not is something that has not yet been confirmed, however in terms of traffic, I am sure you will start to see a slight increase if your website is mobile optimised, if not, i would suggest you look into optimising it as soon as possible.
How to Meet the Criteria?
An easy way to see if Google has tagged your website as mobile friendly, is to simply run a standard search on Google for your site. Below is an example of a mobile friendly and non mobile friendly website:
If you have found that your site doesn’t have the tag, don’t worry, it may be down to something as minor as changing the size of your text. Below I have listed the main criteria that could help Google tags your site as mobile friendly:
- Avoid using Flash Player or other uncommon mobile softwares
- Make sure the size of the page is fit to screen so there is no horizontal scrolling needed
- Use readable sized text
- Spread hyperlinks out on the page so that the right one can be tapped
If you would like to further examine how mobile friendly your website is, Google has a “mobile friendly test” tool, that will scan your site and tell you what needs to be changed in order for them to see you as mobile friendly.
This new change may bring about great opportunities, especially for small business owners. If you own a small business and have invested in making your site mobile friendly, you may see that visitors are much more likely to click through to your site, as opposed to those that don’t display a responsive mobile design.
Mobile is a huge part of both present and future marketing efforts, and Google have even implied that they are looking into factoring mobile responsiveness into the pagerank. They state that “we are also experimenting with using the mobile-friendly criteria as a ranking signal”. I think that it is safe to say if you haven’t yet looked into mobile optimisation, you should!