Google Favors Mobile-Friendly Websites

August 31, 2015 Web, Web Design, Websites

Mobile Friendly WebsitesEarlier this year, Google’s latest tweak to its search algorithm—dubbed “Mobilegeddon”—changed the way search results are displayed for people using smartphones and other mobile devices. Google search results now favor mobile-friendly websites. And they’re not the only ones. Bing quickly followed suit.

“If you’re on a mobile device — if you’re on a tablet or phone or whatever it is — you’re actually going to get mobile-friendly websites at the very top,” explained CNET associate editor Iyaz Akhtar. “So you’re not necessarily going to see the same results (as) on your desktop or laptop.”

Why does this matter?

Although Google’s new formula won’t affect searches on desktop and laptop computers, if your website is not mobile-friendly, you could see your traffic seriously drop off.  In the U.S., 94% of people with smartphones search for local information on their phones and 77% of mobile searches occur at home or at work even though desktop computers are likely to be present at home or work.

My site is relevant, so I’ll be at the top, right?

Google’s search formula weighs a variety of factors to determine ranking. One of the most important considerations has always been whether a site’s content is relevant and contains the most pertinent information sought by a search.

But with the new algorithm, Google’s mobile search may push some sites much farther down in the search results, even if its content is more relevant to a search request than other sites that happen to be easier to access on smartphones.

How do I know if my site is mobile friendly?

Some factors that Google and Bing consider not to be mobile-friendly include small buttons and links, text that can’t be read, the need to scroll horizontally, and plugins such as flash videos that don’t work on mobile devices.

To check out how mobile-friendly your website is, take Google’s Mobile Friendly Test. Simply paste your website’s URL into the form, and Google will show you how it sees your page and why it passed or failed.

So while content is key, mobile-friendliness is becoming the major player when customers are searching for your services on a mobile device. If you haven’t made the necessary steps towards a mobile-friendly website, don’t wait any longer or your competition will leave you in the dust.

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