On 21st April 2015 Google made a ‘mobile-friendly update’ to its search algorithms.
In other words, it changed the rules and formulae used to work out the importance of web pages.
The change means that the ranking or position of web pages or websites that are not mobile-friendly, will be adversely affected.
Or to look at it another way, web pages will be boosted in search rankings – if they are mobile-friendly.
When the changes were first announced, I noted with interest the news coverage on some small businesses whose owners said that they were worried that they would lose valuable trade because their sites, which were either designed a long time ago or had not been optimised for mobile would no longer enjoy top rankings for the key search terms that relate to their business.
How to tell whether your website is mobile-friendly
Unless you have specifically had your site developed (or developed it yourself) for with mobile in mind, you may not necessarily know whether it is mobile-friendly without checking.
You can check by browsing your site on a mobile device such as your smart phone (note that the change does not affect searches from tablets or desktops).
You can also test the mobile-friendliness of your site by taking the Google mobile-friendly test.
I ran the test on my home page URL and received the following reasuring message: ‘Awesome! This page is mobile-friendly.’
But there’s no room for complacency.
You’d need to run the same check on each page to check whether that page is mobile-friendly.
How will the moblle-friendly update affect your site?
According to Google, the update will not impact on a full site if some
of the pages are mobile-friendly because only the pages that aren’t
mobile-friendly will be affected.
So if 10 of your website pages are mobile-friendly, they will not be affected by the changes Google has introduced.
Content is still king!
Reassuringly, even if one or more pages on your website ‘fail’ the mobile-friendly test, all is not lost.
Great content will always stand your site in good stead, even with these search algorithm changes.
Google states that ‘even if a page with high quality content is not mobile-friendly, it could still rank high if it has great content for the query.’
For more on how to create and maintain great content – check out my other content tips on my Content Matters blog.
Posted by DEBBIE THOMAS 28 May 2014