Websites will now be penalised in Google’s search rankings if they are not mobile friendly

Another Google algorithm change has hit our search pages. From today, Google has implemented a new mobile-optimised algorithm that looks more favourably upon mobile-friendly websites

A recent study by Small Business Trends shows that over 60% of internet visits (and growing) are now performed through a mobile device, so offering a high-quality user experience to mobile visitors is very much at the top of Google’s agenda.

These major changes will affect how websites appear on search engines worldwide and locally. The ultimate goal for Google is to make sure that users and customers receive search results that are most relevant and deliver greatest experience for their specific device.

As things stand, the update will not affect paid search performance, nor desktop organic search performance, but that’s likely to change as Google strives to deliver peak user experience.

If sites are not optimised for mobile, they stand likely to be penalised in Google mobile searches and mobile-friendly websites may find themselves leapfrogging up the search rankings.

>See also: Ignoring mobile could cost UK SMEs £77 billion this year

Google has released a statement confirming that the change will run in real-time and on a page-by-page basis. The algorithm defines each web page as either mobile-friendly or not (there is no ‘in between’) and where that page should rank in search results.

Google said this algorithmic change will have a ‘significant impact’ in the mobile search results, affecting all languages worldwide.

There are more than 200 factors that make up Google’s new algorithm, including font sizes, content readability, viewpoints, page load speed on mobile, content streaming functionality, faulty URLs, blocked image files or Javascript, and buttons and links close together.

The changes take effect immediately and could take up to a week to roll out globally. It only impacts searches done on mobile smartphone devices, not tablets.

There are a variety of ways that organisations can establish whether Google defines their web page as mobile-friendly or not by. Websites that are already indexed by Google as mobile optimised have a mobile friendly label in the mobile search results.

Companies in any doubt should seek the immediate advice of their web advisors to avoid being penalised by this latest change.


Sourced from Paul Clarke, MD, Portsmouth Marketing Group

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Ben Rossi

Ben was Vitesse Media's editorial director, leading content creation and editorial strategy across all Vitesse products, including its market-leading B2B and consumer magazines, websites, research and...

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