How are my mobile search engine rankings affected by Google?

How are my mobile search engine rankings affected by Google?

21 May

Author : Brad Muncs, Categories : Mobile websites

On April 21st 2015, Google gave companies and organizations another reason to have a mobile-friendly website - a new update to their search algorithm will now penalize mobile search engine rankings for websites that are not optimized for view on mobile devices.

This article will explore the causes and implications of this important shift that has been named « Mobilegeddon », as well as what can be done to help.


Why did Google do this?

Consider three things:

1) In 2014, mobile overtook desktop as the device most used for accessing the internet. Google now gets 60% of its search queries from mobile devices.

2) If you have ever landed on a website that’s not mobile-optimized on your smartphone, your first reflex is to push the « back » button go find a website that displays correctly on your phone - and Google knows this because it tracks statistics on user activity.

3) Google wants to display relevant results to its users.

These three elements put together logically, explain why Google now wants to prioritize mobile-friendly websites for searches initiated on an iPhone or Android: content displayed in mobile-friendly layouts have been proven to be more relevant for smartphone users.

Ok, so what does that mean for my website?

First question: Is your website mobile friendly? (not sure? test it out with Google’s «mobile-friendly test».

If it is, great! You’re ahead of the curve and don’t need to do anything more.

If not, this means that the position your website appears in the list of search engine results on a mobile device only might be negatively affected. It is important to understand that this does not affect your ranking on desktop or tablet searches.

The exact impact of the new algorithm on your selected keywords or website is hard to predict, since mobile-friendliness is only one element in Google’s complicated ranking system. However a few weeks after it was put in place, some websites saw their ranking get reduced by up to 45% - but it could also have almost no impact at all.

What can I do to make sure I’m well-positioned in mobile search rankings?

Google recommends approaching mobile optimization by using the technique called «responsive design». This means that the same web page is displayed in a different format if it’s on a desktop or a mobile device (as opposed to two different pages: one for desktop, another for mobile).

After your website has been optimized for mobile devices, follow your website statistics for the following weeks: has there been an increase of mobile visitors? If so, you’re on the right track! If not, test again and adjust until you see results.

For more information, Google provides a useful guide for mobile search engine optimization.

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Tags : drupal, mobile, site web, wordpress

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