How the Google Algorithm Change Will Impact Your Website

Posted by | April 14 | Search Engine Optimization – SEO

monitor smartphones and tablets

The newest Google algorithm change is set to happen on April 21. This new algorithm, like the algorithm change before, is in favor of the consumer. Users will now see mobile-friendly websites first on mobile search results. Websites that are deemed mobile-friendly by Google’s criteria will have a “Mobile-Friendly” label under their search listing.

With this change in how Google ranks search results, the mobile friendliness of your site will now be taken into account. This new change will affect websites who have yet to make mobile design a priority.

From Google:

“Starting April 21, we will be expanding our use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal. This change will affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide and will have a significant impact in our search results. Consequently, users will find it easier to get relevant, high quality search results that are optimized for their devices.”

So what makes a website pass this test?

There are 4 criteria that individual pages on a website must meet to earn the mobile-friendly label.

  1. No software that is not common on mobile devices, like Flash.
  2. Text that is readable without zooming.
  3. Content that adjusts to the screen size so consumers do not have to scroll horizontally or zoom.
  4. Links are placed far enough apart so that the correct one can be easily tapped.

Google determines that these conditions are met by their web crawler. Since mobile-friendliness is determined on a page-by-page basis, it is necessary for site owners to determine that the entire website passes, and not just the major pages.

How Do I Check If My Site is Mobile Friendly?

Google has two tools to check a site’s mobile friendliness:

  1. Mobile Friendly Test – Simply input URLs to check if they pass Google’s test. If there are any errors, the test will show them and offer suggestions on how to fix the errors. Here’s what the test looks like:

Website test2. Mobile Usability Reports – This feature is recently new to Google Webmaster Tools. The Mobile Usability Reports will show you common usability issues with your mobile site, so that you can fix them to improve mobile experience for your users.

Do you have questions about the mobile friendliness of your site, or want to update to responsive design? Contact Forix today.

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