Google is stepping up its intent to deliver better user-experience to mobile devices – and will favour websites that meet the criteria.
The search engine giant recently announced it will start ranking websites that provide a good UE on mobile handsets higher in search rankings. The ratings will go live on 21st April.
Google has been testing websites for mobile-friendliness since last September when it gave a green tick to responsive websites that met the criteria. The following month grey icons of a cross through a mobile identified websites that were not responsive to smaller screens.
At the time, it was not clear what the Big G was hoping to achieve with these icons, although many SEO practitioners suspected they would eventually be used as a ranking signal. We were right!
The conclusion to draw from this latest algorithm change is make your website mobile-friendly or expect to slip down the rankings. According to Google, April update will have a “significant” impact.
Does your website pass Google’s mobile-testing test?
To determine whether your website will suffer in search rankings post April, run a Google mobile-friendly test using the free tool. This will tell you yea or nay, and if the latter, what you can do to rectify the issue.
You can also use Webmaster Tools to identify which parts of your site are not mobile-friendly by using the Mobile Usability Report. If you have not already upgraded your website to meet the demands of mobile users, Google may just force your hand.