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Google’s algorithm update will “increase the effect of the mobile-friendly ranking signal” and will be rolled out “beginning in May”.
Back in April 2015, Google announced the first wave of a significant new algorithm – dubbed ‘Mobilegeddon’ by many – designed to boost mobile-friendly websites in Google’s mobile search results, while penalising ones that don’t comply.
Don’t panic: it’s unlikely that we’ll see a sudden drop-off on non-mobile friendly sites, as the rollout of the algorithm will be gradual.
However, if your site doesn’t meet Google’s mobile guidelines or pass the search giant’s mobile-friendly test, it’s definitely a good time to seriously consider an upgrade.
The Mobile-Friendly Test
Or take the test, specially designed to help you evaluate if your website needs to be upgraded to be compliant with Google’s mobile-friendliness standards.
How do I test my website?
1) Take the Google Mobile-Friendly Test here or click on the image below.
2) Enter your URL in the field.
3) Wait for the results.
There are two responses you could get. If your website is mobile-friendly, you should see this message:
‘Awesome! This page is mobile-friendly.’
However, if your website fails the mobile-friendliness test, you could get a message similar to the one below:
Then you need to take action as your Google rankings could be at risk.
How can I make my website mobile-friendly?
We can help. Our web design experts will work with you to ensure your website is mobile friendly, up to date and safe from a Google penalty.
Get in touch today, and we’ll help you get the issues resolved.
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What’s this update about?
As part of Google’s continued push to provide the best quality search results to users on mobile, they will be giving websites that are mobile-friendly an algorithm boost. Conversely, websites that have not been optimised for mobile could be at risk of losing valuable rankings.
To help website owners prioritise their SEO efforts, experts at the March 2016 SMX West search marketing conference shared their views on trends and patterns that are likely to affect mobile search.
Voice search will continue to grow
In 2015, more mobile queries were performed than desktop searches. In the very near future we can expect that searchers will be talking to even more devices, as mobile keyboards are a challenge to use when owners are on the go, plus their keys are too small for large amounts of typing.
Speech recognition technology is continuing to improve. In a few years, error rates have dropped from 25 per cent to about 8 per cent. Apple claimed that Siri, its virtual assistant, had an error rate of 5 per cent. As such, Google is seeing a rise in longer voice searches.
To optimise web pages for voice search, Google’s own director of Conversational Search, Beshad Behzadi, has recommended focusing on quality content and making sure that sites are mobile-friendly.
Vistaprint’s organic SEO manager said that marketers should determine what customers are asking and then provide clear, concise answers on the site. Unique content, particularly in HTML list format, that effectively answers questions could be selected to be featured in Google’s Quick Answer boxes for certain queries.
Stick with tried-and-true methods
There are numerous ranking signals used by Google to match users’ search queries with website content. Although there have been changes over the years, some key ranking factors have remained much the same, including:
- Domain / page authority
- Quality links
- Link source diversity
- Semantic search, where keywords, user intent and contextual meaning can influence the results for queries.
Focus on the user experience
Sounds obvious, but this point is worth a mention for a solid SEO strategy. It’s essential that websites provide mobile users with quick access to information. This is why mobile site speed is so important, and is one of the many ranking signals.
Test and survey customers and other users of your website to establish the type of mobile experience that would better enable them to complete their interaction.