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In case you missed the news from a couple weeks ago (which is fine as I understand some may have been on vacation in Mexico…like our own Digital Marketing Analyst), Google announced an upcoming algorithm update that deals with how mobile-friendly a website is.

Back in November of 2014, Google introduced mobile-friendly labels in the search results pages and this wasn’t breaking news then as it had hinted at the label for a while and also noted it was testing an algorithm variable.  A few weeks ago, February of 2015, Google announced an algorithm variable that provides a boost for sites that are mobile-friendly based on analysis by Google during spider visits intended for indexing of site content.

 Yep, your mobile-friendly site will do better in search results!

The fact that Google announced the algorithm update and took the step of giving us a date that it will go into effect (April 21, 2015) signaled that this was significant.  It is rare to get advanced notice on Google updates, if any notice at all.  Much like the push from Google for sites to be secure (HTTPS) and a ranking boost associated with that, this is the next initiative.

Here’s are some details of the mobile-friendly update:

  • Googlebot will analyze specific criteria on a given page to see if there are specific usability issues for mobile devices including text size, spacing, readability, and the need to scroll
  • Sites that provide a poor mobile experience are being penalized through reduced visibility in SERPs and is expanding on that when this update rolls out
  • The algorithm variable is page-by-page and is real-time. This is good news for sites that can’t be made mobile-friendly by the April date that the signal takes effect.

Not sure if your site is mobile-friendly? Google has mobile usability reports and testing tools in Google Webmaster Tools – I encourage everyone to check them out.

Here are some great resource articles to learn more and get more detail on some of the items in my rundown above:

Over a year ago, Voltage made the decision to stop giving clients just the option or add-on to do a responsive design. Now, all our sites are only built to be responsive and we’re happy to see this type of algorithm update and ranking boost for our website clients and those we work with focused on SEO. That decision has and will serve clients well in this case as well as a benefit and enhancement for user experience (UX).

Have any questions about this algorithm update or what Corey learned at SMX?  Want to know how to get your site mobile-friendly?  We’d love to chat with you with no cost or obligation!

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