Launching on April 21st is Google’s new mobile-friendly search algorithm, which will drastically change the way websites are ranked on mobiles, tablets and smartphones. Google will now be ranking websites it considers to be more mobile-friendly higher than those less so, and there is also growing speculation that non-mobile friendly websites will be dropped from Mobile Search Results altogether.
This update is being implemented to make it easier for mobile users to find websites that offer a great mobile experience, and this is sure to put mobile-friendly sites at a strong advantage against their competitors.
Mobile Friendly Test looks at the main problem areas on desktop sites, notably:
Use of Flash
The vast majority of smartphones and mobile browsers do not support Flash-generated content, so any pages containing Flash will not be visible to mobile users. We recommend updating Flash pages and animations to HTML5 technologies, CSS3 and jQuery.
With the sheer volume of devices out there; from sleek iPhones to iPads and tablets, screen size is becoming ever more varied, and so all web pages should be specifying a viewport using the meta viewport tag, which instructs browsers to adjust and scale the page’s dimensions to suit the viewing device. Responsive design
ensures that the viewport is always set to match the width and scale of the devices as required.
Google is giving website owners the unique opportunity to test the mobile-friendliness of their website on a per-url basis. Using individual page evaluation you can determine the mobile-friendly and non-mobile friendly pages. The aim is to provide users with the same tailor-made and quality search results that they have been accustomed to on desktop, whilst giving users exactly what they want through a better and more consistent mobile experience.
This change will effect all mobile searches in all languages, and focuses much more on boosting ranking than penalising others.
Why is all of this so important? Here are a few figures:
61% of users landing on your mobile website will leave if they do not get a positive mobile viewing experience. They are likely to click on the next link in the search results page, and chances are this could be one of your competitors.
At least 80% of people are using smartphones to browse the internet.
55% of social media consumption occurs on a smartphone or mobile device.
4 out of 5 online purchases are made on a mobile device