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Google's Mobile-Friendly Update: What You Need to Know

Google's Mobile-Friendly Update: What You Need to Know

April 24, 2015

Smartphones have become mainstream and Google has responded. In the USA, 94% of people with smartphones search for local information on their phones. For a business to maintain its edge online, users must have a positive experience when visiting their website on mobile devices. This week, Google unveiled a real-time algorithm designed to favor mobile-friendly web pages. In February of this year, news of the update--Google's second mobile update since 2013--sent some web engineers and programmers reeling. Armed with the correct tools, Google's update is quite manageable. Keep your rank with the world's largest search engine in fair standing by minding the below.

  1. This update will impact only searches completed on a mobile smartphone device. The mobile-friendly algorithm is on a page-by-page basis. The update does not impact searches that are completed on a desktop or tablet, nor will it affect results for Google News, Local, or videos.
  2. Know what you are up against. Use Google Analytics to see the percentage of your website's sessions that occur on mobile and how this percentage has grown over time.
  3. Use Google's mobile-friendly test to see if a given page is mobile-friendly. If you find your website fails the test, contact us - let's devise an action plan.
  4. A site is considered mobile-friendly when it's easy for users to complete their objectives. That is to say, the site loads quickly and is easy to read on a mobile device.
  5. A website that is slow to load has unplayable videos, and/or blocked images on a mobile device will rank poorly under the new algorithm.
  6. Google also provides a tool to check the speed of any given page.
  7. The content on a responsive website responds to its environment and is mobile-friendly.
  8. Know your competitors in the mobile sphere, learn their strengths and weaknesses.
  9. Despite all the attention on mobile, it remains important to optimize your website for desktop searches too. Search engine optimization is a nuanced craft influenced by many factors. Learn about the wide range of SEO services that WSD offers.
  10. Ultimately, Google's algorithm changes are designed to improve the experience of Google's users. Put your website ahead of the curve by continuing to improve the user experience and providing relevant and frequently updated content.
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