Google’s Mobile Friendly Algorithm Is Coming! Are You Ready?
21 April 2015 is M-Day. It’s the day the latest Google algorithm will be released which includes ranking factors related to how mobile friendly your website is. Are you ready for it?
The rise of mobile devices has catapulted dramatically in the last few years, in fact, TechCrunch states that in 2014 mobile usage accounted for 60% of time spent using digital media, with just 40% on desktop devices. As a result, Google has been working behind the scenes for a while now to develop their algorithm to look at not just the usual ranking factors but also the mobile friendliness of your website. But what exactly does mobile friendly mean and how can you check whether your website passes the test?
Having a website that is mobile friendly means that it displays correctly and in an easy to navigate format when viewed on a mobile device like a phone or tablet. It should also load quickly as mobile devices are typically used when people are on the move and don’t have time to wait for pages to load. Many newer websites these days are even designed to be mobile responsive, as there are so many different sizes and shapes of devices, which means your website has to work even harder to display correctly on different screen sizes and resolutions.
There are a few things you need to know about the upcoming algorithm update from Google. Firstly, the updates are classed as ‘real-time’ – which means that as soon as your pages have been updated to be mobile friendly, you should start to see the benefit in your rankings, you won’t have to wait until another algorithm update takes place if you don’t get it ready by 21 April.
Secondly, the algorithm works on a page by page basis. This means that Google is not looking at your website as a whole, but rather considering each page individually. So there is no sense in focusing on just one or a few pages of your site that you think should be optimised for mobile devices, but should rather ensure that every page of your site is ticks the mobile friendly box. While this may seem like a big job if you have a site with lots of pages, it should still be a priority as this update is definitely going to separate the wheat from the chaff of mobile friendly sites.
To check if your website is already mobile friendly, Google has helpfully created a test for webmasters to see how they are doing and what can be improved. You can find the test page here. If you have a Google Webmaster Tools account, you can also check if there are any mobile errors on your website and if so, what the errors are. Google’s very own Gary Illyes hosted a Q&A session at SMX West a few days ago and shared these 12 things webmasters need to know about the upcoming algorithm change.
With only a few weeks to go until the update it’s well worth checking out sooner rather than later! If you aren’t sure what you need to do, get in touch with Blue Cherry Online Marketing today and we can help show you what you need to be doing to prepare for this change.