Back in March Google released this post about a mobile update which will start to roll out in May. Today is that day. The mobile friendly ranking algorithm was first released on April 21st 2015 and it meant that mobile searches used a different set of ranking factors compared to Desktop users, which is why results on mobiles differed from Desktop results.
The update, affecting all users and websites, meant if you didn’t have a mobile friendly website you would be demoted in the rankings, especially if your competitors had a mobile friendly website. A lot of businesses did not see the importance of mobile friendly websites before, but now it should be one of the main focuses when designing and changing your website.
Take a look at one of our clients for example. Here you can see the percentage of traffic which came to their site from mobile.
2011 saw 11% of users visit using a mobile with massive growth year on year. So far in 2016 the current number of mobile visitors to the website accounts for 44% of traffic. Mobile simply cannot be ignored anymore.
Google also includes a snippet in the search results telling users if a site is or is not mobile friendly. If you are not sure, you can use Google’s mobile friendly testing tool.
So what does the update mean for webmasters?
If your website is already mobile friendly, then there will be little impact on your website. The initial mobile algorithm did not have the huge effect many expected. This update will have less impact, but you should still expect to see fluctuations; especially if you do not have a mobile friendly website!
Ultimately, Google just wants to ensure that people searching on mobile are getting the best experience possible and want to make sure people are being shown easy-to-use websites that work well on a smartphone. If your site is not easy-to-use and not classed as mobile friendly by Google, it is likely you will see a drop in your ranking positions, that is, if you haven’t dropped already.
Once the fluctuations have died down and we see what results we have seen, we will be able to see how this has affected the SERPs more thoroughly. If you need help getting your website more visibility in the search results then have a look at our SEO services or give us a call on 0116 2987493.