Mobile usability officially affects your search ranking. On April 21st, Google will release their mobile-friendly algorithm which rolled out globally over the past week.
What you need to know:
- You are or you aren’t
- There are no degrees of mobile-friendliness. A page is either classified as mobile-friendly or it isn’t.
- Page by page basis
- Mobile-friendliness is determined on a page-by-page basis, not as a whole site.
- Real time
- Mobile-friendliness of search results is determined in real-time. This is good news for those that are not currently mobile-friendly…as soon as you make a page mobile-friendly it will be considered mobile-friendly in Google’s search algorithm.
What does it look like?
Mobile-friendly search results will have a grey “Mobile-friendly” label displayed after the headline and URL:
You can also check if a specific page is mobile-friendly by using Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test.
What if My Page Isn’t Mobile Friendly?
According to Google, your site is mobile-friendly if it:
- Avoids software that is not common on mobile devices, like Flash
- Uses text that is readable without zooming
- Sizes content to the screen so users don’t have to scroll horizontally or zoom
- Places links far enough apart so that the correct one can be easily tapped
This algorithm update will have a major influence on search rankings; Google has said that its impact will be bigger than that of both Panda and Penguin. It’s estimated that over 50% of searches are now done on mobile devices, and that number is only predicted to rise. Mobile search is the future, so if your site’s not already mobile-friendly, use this algorithm change as motivation to improve your site’s mobile usability.