A few days ago Google announced that mobile-friendliness will be used as a ranking signal in their mobile search results, starting April 21, 2015.
This algorithm update will “have a significant impact” on Google’s search results. And it “will affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide.”
In November of 2014, Google officially introduced the addition of a mobile-friendly label to their mobile search results. At the time, Google confirmed they were “also experimenting with using the mobile-friendly criteria as a ranking signal.”
Their decision to expand their use of mobile-friendliness as an actual ranking signal is therefore not a huge surprise. But it is a clear signal of their commitment to help users discover the most relevant, timely and mobile-friendly content.
In their own words, “As more people use mobile devices to access the internet, our algorithms have to adapt to these usage patterns.”
Given the mobile milestones of 2014 and 2015 predictions, this was a wise move by Google. 2015 is expected to mark the tipping point in which mobile search traffic will surpass desktop. And mobile now accounts for 25% of global web usage and 60% of total digital media time spent in the U.S.
But what does this update mean for company and how can you ensure the Googlebot views your site’s pages as mobile-friendly?
Back in November, Google published their mobile-friendly criteria for all webpages.
They also have a couple of great tools you can use. To test key pages individually, check out their Mobile-Friendly Test tool. For a list of mobile usability issues across your entire site, take a look at the Mobile Usability report in Google Webmaster Tools.
But wait. There's more.
As of February 26, 2015, Google made updates to their algorithm to surface context from indexed apps more prominently in their mobile search results. They began using information from indexed apps as a ranking factor.
This only applies to signed-in users who already have the app installed, so it means that this algorithm update will only apply to Android apps for now.
Developers can visit Google’s developer site and their step-by-step guide to learn more about Google’s App Indexing and how to implement it.
These changes to Google’s mobile search results are great news for mobile users and attest to the growing importance of mobile search traffic.
If you’re looking to stay ahead of the game in mobile and deliver high performing mobile experiences that support a robust mobile SEO strategy, our platform and mobile performance experts can help.