Mobile-Friendly Ranking Signal Strengthened By Google

Back in March Google announced that it would be putting more emphasis on the importance of having a mobile-friendly website in regards to SEO ranking. With a view to launching sometime towards the start of May.
The reason behind Google doing this is really to reflect the ongoing trend of more and more people using their mobiles to browse the internet. Mobilegeddon I believe it’s called… *sigh*. We’ve talked about it before many times, including this one just recently:

Mobile-friendly sites
How to Future Proof Your Website for Mobilegeddon 2

Basically, people using their mobile don’t want to search for something, only to find themselves directed to a non mobile-friendly landing page so Google are making websites that are not responsive less visible in search results.

via GIPHY
This isn’t to say a non mobile-friendly website with highly applicable content won’t be shown to someone with a relevant search query – relevancy is still the main driver.


 

So what does this actually mean for business owners?

(If you’re a business owner and don’t own a website where have you been?)
Well, straight off the bat this means if you don’t have a mobile friendly website you should probably (definitely) look into getting yourself a responsive website built (www.broadplace.com/our-work.html). More and more people are now using their mobile devices to search and browse the internet:
 

Mobile Friendly Websites
source

The worrying thing is that if a user has had difficulty accessing a particular site on mobile before, it is unlikely they will return to it.
Mobile friendly sites
Mobile friendly sites
According to Google stats, 61% of users said that if they didn’t find what they were looking for right away on a mobile site, they’d quickly move on to another site. 79% of people who don’t like what they find on one site will go back and search for another site. Half of people said that even if they like a business, they will use them less often if the website isn’t mobile-friendly.
And here’s how you could even be damaging your company’s reputation by having a non mobile-friendly website:

  • 48% of users say they feel frustrated and annoyed when they get to a site that’s not mobile-friendly
  • 36% said they felt like they’ve wasted their time by visiting those sites
  • 52% of users said that a bad mobile experience made them less likely to engage with a company
  • 48% said that if a site didn’t work well on their smartphones, it made them feel like the company didn’t care about their business

The Effect Of Non Mobile-Friendly Websites/Pages

For certain queries, listings for mobile-friendly sites will rank higher in mobile searches than they do on desktop searches. Glenn Gabe used Moz.com as an example… their redirect desktop ranking was #3, on smartphone it was #13:

Mobile Friendly Site
Desktop search: #3

Mobile Friendly Site
Smartphone #13 source 

If you already have a responsive website then nothing bad will happen, and you can give yourself a pat on the back. Having said that, this doesn’t mean you can just sit back and not update your website regularly. Google’s ‘bots’ are always crawling the web and as a result Google rewards businesses who update their websites with fresh, relevant content with better search engine rankings.
So, if you don’t want to fall down search engine rankings make sure you keep your website nice and up-to-date with what’s going on in your world, interesting and pertinent fresh content, updated on a regular basis. Perhaps a blog like this one?
discover what makes a Broadplace website different

Future Proof Website Mobilegeddon 2

If you didn’t have a mobile-friendly site at the end of April last year, you may want to ensure you have one in the next month or so. That’s because Google will soon be rolling out another algorithm update that has been dubbed “Mobilegeddon 2”, by a handful of people. The reason we’re not panicking too much? Well, the results of Mobilegeddon (the original) were varied and by no means as bad as the media would have had us believe.
But… this is yet another indication (if any was needed) that without a mobile-friendly site in the future, you won’t be smiled upon by the Google gods, you will find your keyword rankings going down on mobile and users will give you a higher bounce rate. None of which sounds particularly healthy for any business.

Mobilegeddon 2 Advice

Our advice? Get a responsive site (as recommended by Google) and make sure that all pages on your site are mobile-friendly. Many sites last year simply updated their home page and key pages to get around the update. Having ‘partially mobile-optimised pages’ just won’t cut it. You still lose visibility on those pages that aren’t optimised. If you need to check your website’s pages, you can do so very quickly, using Google’s own tool, Mobile-Friendly Test

Mobilegeddon Review

A recent study looked at the winners and losers of ‘Mobilegeddon’ last year and came back with some surprising results. The Guardian did really well, gaining 40 visibility points on mobile. The Wall Street Journal, on the other hand, had just 35 in total. Yellowpages.com lost about 90% of its visibility, the mobile version still only has about 26 points of visibility:
Mobilegeddon2 Yell
The Monarchy has thoroughly modernised itself over the past few decades, but not to the point of ensuring that it had a mobile-friendly website. their official website has a 37% disparity between mobile and desktop. Furthermore, their keyword rankings are 50% fewer when it comes to mobile.
Mobilegeddon 2 British Monarchy website

Mobile visibility for the British Monarchy’s official website

Even the ever-popular HuffingtonPost here in the UK suffered as a result of the roll out of . It lost a massive 87% of its mobile visibility on Google.co.uk:
HuffPo Mobilegeddon
So, as you can see, even the big players can be caught out by this type of update. And, given the relatively mild effects of the update last year on most websites, you could be forgiven for thinking that you won’t be impacted this time round. Well, we tend to err on the side of caution here. Better to ensure that your entire site is mobile friendly – for both ranking and user experience reasons.
One of our experts would be glad to talk through what this might mean for your website. Give us a call on 020 7993 9853. If you’d like to take a quick look at our previous work (before and after shots), click here to see our responsive, bespoke and *affordable* websites. Call us for more details.

Call back form