One of my favorite acronyms that have been used to describe everything from marketing, to politics to warfare is FUD – or fear, uncertainty, and doubt. Recently, there’s been a lot of FUD surrounding Google’s new “Mobile-Friendly” ranking update – and we’re here to set the record straight, and hopefully restore some calm, certainty, and hope!
Here’s what Google actually said regarding this new update:
“today’s the day we begin globally rolling out our mobile-friendly update. We’re boosting the ranking of mobile-friendly pages on mobile search results.”
Digging a bit deeper, Google clarifies who and what these effect:
- Affects only search rankings on mobile devices
- Affects search results in all languages globally
- Applies to individual pages, not entire websites
While the mobile-friendly change is important, we still use a variety of signals to rank search results. The intent of the search query is still a very strong signal — so even if a page with high-quality content is not mobile-friendly, it could still rank high if it has great content for the query. ”
I’ve bolded the important phrases because they contradict some of the FUD surrounding the update that promises your website will a) disappear from Google results or b) drop rank considerably for all searches.
So take a deep breath and realize that while this update is important, it won’t cause your website to drop of the face of Google’s search engine.
What is important to know, however, is that the mobile audience is growing. In fact, it’s growing faster than, and in some cases is already larger than, the desktop audience. Catering to this audience won’t just please Google, it will please your users which benefits your business more than any search engine boost.
What is a mobile friendly website?
Like everything in technology, the answer can be quite complicated but Google boils it down to one simple statement:
“where the text is readable without tapping or zooming, tap targets are spaced appropriately, and the page avoids unplayable content or horizontal scrolling.”
Google even offers a tool called the Mobile-Friendly Test, that you can use to analyze your website. While this will tell you if Google thinks your website is mobile friendly, you should also browse on your mobile device(s) to make sure the experience is ideal.
Content, domain age, speed, security, accessibility, backlinks, social influencers are just a sampling of the many factors Google uses to rank a website. Mobile-friendliness is now just another one of hundreds of factors that influence your ranking.