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Google announces update to mobile search ranking signals

Google have confirmed that from the start of May they will be updating mobile search results so that the mobile-friendliness of a site is a stronger ranking signal.

 

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Don’t pretend mobile-geddon didn’t happen!

After announcing last year that mobile search has overtaken desktop, Google have now taken further steps to ensure a focus on mobile-friendly sites for those searching via mobile. While they have used responsiveness as a ranking signal on mobile searches since last year, from May they will be rolling out another update to increase the effect of this ranking signal.

So what does this mean for your website?

We have known for some time that having a mobile-friendly website is good for mobile SEO, but now it is more important than ever to make your site responsive. Having only one version of your website that has been optimised for desktop means that it will likely be difficult to view on a mobile device, requiring the user to zoom in or out in order to read the content- which can lead to some elements of the page such as sidebars, ads and calls to action being missed completely.

It is easier than you might think to adapt your website to be responsive to any device, and with mobile search continuing to grow this is important for any business, whichever industry you are in. As more users visit your website on mobile devices, make sure that you maximise on this potential client base by optimising your site.

Is your site mobile friendly?

If your site is already mobile-friendly then you will not be affected by this change, but usability is always worth considering even for already optimised pages. Ideally you would create a mobile-friendly version of your site that is not only easier to read, but also more suited to the way that people use devices, with clear menu options and a clean design. With such a wealth of options available online now, users who find a website hard to navigate will quickly abandon the site and go elsewhere. If a website looks better and is easier to use then you will see a decrease in bounce rate, which in turn will make page rank higher- so everyone wins.

Google were quick to remind us that ultimately the search query itself is still a strong ranking signal — so any page can rank highly providing that it features helpful and quality content.  If you would like support in making your website mobile-friendly contact the team at Varn to find out how we can help with your mobile SEO.