Google’s Mobile-Friendly Update is Rolling Out

Susan BanksMobile Web Design

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Google started rolling out its mobile-friendly ranking update on April 21, 2015, “boosting the ranking of mobile friendly pages on mobile search results,” making it easier for searchers to find relevant, readable content. Conversely, web pages that are not mobile-friendly may drop in the search rankings.

As per Google, a web page is eligible for the “mobile-friendly” label if it meets the following criteria:

  • Avoids software that is not common on mobile devices, like Flash
  • Uses text that is readable without zooming
  • Sizes content to the screen so users don’t have to scroll horizontally or zoom
  • Places links far enough apart so that the correct one can be easily tapped
mobile-friendly test

Along with the roll-out, came a new Google blog post, addressing a lot of the questions and concerns that webmasters have, along with some general FAQs.

A Few Points Worth Noting:

  • This update will only affect searches on mobile devices, not “tablets or desktops.” Although a tablet is arguably a “mobile device,” tablet searches are not affected.
  • All ranking changes are page-level, not site-level. That is Google will look at and rank each page individually.
  • If you are not sure if you site is mobile-friendly, you can take Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test.
  • Just because you did not see a change in your site’s ranking on April 22nd, doesn’t mean you won’t see one.

“You won’t be able to definitively determine whether your site’s rankings are impacted by the mobile-friendly update by April 22nd. While we begin rolling out the mobile-friendly update on April 21st, it’ll be a week or so before it makes its way to all pages in the index.”

Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test:

When you test your site on Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test tool, Google will produce a report indicating whether your page passed or failed.

Awesome – our home page passes Google’s mobile-friendly test!

This one doesn’t, but Google tells us what we need to do to fix it. 

If you are registered with Google webmaster tools, you can get detailed information on the mobile-friendliness of your entire site, and how to fix any errors. For example, Google crawled 200 pages of this site in March and found “100% of them have critical mobile usability errors.”


Is Your Business Mobile-Ready?

Whether you are ready or not, mobile is here. If you are a business owner and you want to remain competitive or keep the competitive edge you have, the time to go mobile was last year. The next best time is now.

Google has given us the tools to test if our sites are mobile-friendly and guidance on how to do so. Now is the time to “Make it so.” (Sorry, the Trekkie in me sometimes escapes!)

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