Google recently announced that a new mobile algorithm update will kick in April 21st, updating search engine ranking signals by throwing mobile-friendliness into the mix.
The change comes as no surprise, considering the massive growth of mobile in recent years. Google is encouraging webmasters to concentrate their efforts on mobile-friendliness, by rewarding mobile-friendly sites with higher ranks.
If you aren’t already on track to providing a great user experience for your mobile customers, now’s the time to get prepared. Even if only a small percentage of your traffic comes from mobile, failing to address these issues can put your site rank at risk, making it harder for all users to find you.
Impacts of the Mobile Algorithm Update
The update will affect mobile search rankings, helping on-the-go users find mobile-optimized search results more easily. Websites that lack mobile-friendly design and don’t address the problem before April 21st may see a drop in organic traffic due to lower rankings in Google SERPs.
You can instantly see how this update will affect your site by taking Google’s mobile-friendliness test. Simply plug in your site URL to learn whether or not it’s easily navigated by mobile users. If it isn’t, Google will list the problems found with your site so you can get started on fixing them. These are some of the design issues that will affect your score, as well as your site’s rank:
- Text too small to read
- Links too close together
- Mobile viewport not set
- Uses incompatible plugins
- Content wider than screen
For the most accurate test results, make sure Googlebot is not blocked in your site’s robots.txt file.
At BFO, we’ve been working to alert clients of mobile-unfriendly site features to help prepare them for this huge update. We recommend everyone take the mobile-friendly test as soon as possible to highlight problem areas on your site. Then follow up with BFO. Our search experts will conduct an in-depth assessment of your site’s mobile-readiness and help turn Google’s mobile algorithm update into an advantage for your site rank.
Learn more search strategies to drive traffic to your site with our ebook!
*Since this article was originally published, we put together a post on the effects of this mobile algorithm update. Read all about it, here.