Webmasters are preparing for “Mobilegeddon” as Google updates its search algorithm and sets a deadline of April 21 to have a mobile-friendly website or see a drop in ranking within the search results.
Google announced that mobile is going to become a factor of where a site ranks as well as implementing a “mobile-friendly” description tag next to the link. This tag shows users which sites will play nice with their mobile device and which sites could have a slower load time or not offer the full experience of the desktop version.
On its webmaster blog, Google states:
“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.”
Again, Google puts the focus on its users and the user experience. The best way to provide a seamless user experience across all devices is to have a Responsive Website Design (RWD). Now, you’ll only have one URL for your site instead of an m.brandwebsite.com redirect and all pages of your site are available for the user. Overall, this creates a much better experience for your website visitors.
In the past, a mobile redirect was an acceptable way to have your website show up for mobile device users to present the necessary pages of your site. Now, Google will be looking at the mobile-friendliness of your site on a page-by-page basis. Each page of your site must be ready to display on a tablet or smartphone or it will not show up in the first few search results. We would not recommend adding every page of your site on your m.brandwebsite.com redirect. We recommend moving forward with RWD to increase the lifespan of your website with future updates to how search engines index your site.
Google itself is even advising webmasters to use RWD. In the getting started with mobile guide, it says to “select a mobile template, theme, or design that’s consistent for all devices “i.e., use responsive web design)… Google recommends using RWD over other design patterns.”
The first step though is figuring out if your site is mobile-friendly. Google has its own mobile-friendly test to see if your site is meeting these new requirements.
Image courtesy of Google
For clients that use our TCMS website product, don’t worry as your site is fully responsive and will pass Google’s mobile-friendly test.
What do you think of Google’s search algorithm update to include mobile-friendliness? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!