Yesterday saw Google roll out the latest change – its mobile friendly update. In a nutshell they’re boosting the ranking of mobile friendly web pages when searched for on mobile devices.
Read the full article on the Google Webmaster Tools Blog here.
Now, when you view search results on your mobile device you may find that results are appended with a ‘Mobile Friendly’ snippet, marking them out as having been spidered by Google, meeting their criteria for ‘Mobile Friendly’ pages, and being awarded that snippet. The snippet is what will boost your rankings on mobile devices – sites that don’t meet that criteria will see themselves drop down the rankings in favour of mobile friendly pages and sites.
Affects only search rankings on mobile devices
Affects search results in all languages globally
Applies to individual pages, not entire websites
Google qualifies this news further by saying that:
“While the mobilefriendly change is important, we still use a variety of signals to rank search results. The intent of the search query is still a very strong signal – so even if a page with high quality content is not mobilefriendly, it could still rank high if it has great content for the query.”
This is good news for larger corporations who may be less nimble than SME’s in being able to redesign their websites to be mobile friendly. In these cases a dedication to SEO and the production of quality inbound links may still help to keep your content ranking well where your pages are not mobile optimised.
To check if your site is mobilefriendly, you can examine individual pages with the MobileFriendly Test or check the status of your entire site through the Mobile Usability report in Webmaster Tools. If your site’s pages aren’t mobilefriendly, there may be a significant decrease in mobile traffic from Google Search. But have no fear, once your site becomes mobilefriendly, Google will automatically re-process (i.e. crawl and index) your pages.
You can also expedite the process by using Fetch as Google with Submit to Index, and then your pages can be treated as mobilefriendly in ranking.
Google has done a nice job of addressing many of the most popular queries regarding this latest roll-out on its blog which you can read here – suffice to say that in some cases there might be instances where you already have a mobile friendly website, but unless the code is tweaked a little to work with Googlebot, it may still be seen by Googlebot as non-mobile friendly. Often this is a quick fix though, so no need to panic.
If you need any help or advice in converting your existing site to be mobile friendly then drop us a line and we can advise as to how best to achieve this.