Google’s latest mobile search algorithm update makes having a mobile-friendly site even more important.
If your site isn’t easy to use on mobile, Google penalises it by ranking it lower on its mobile search results pages. To give publishers even more of an incentive to offer mobile-friendly pages, Google today announced that, in May, it will increase the importance of having a mobile page, and sites that are not mobile-friendly will rank even lower than before.
The goal is to “help our users find even more pages that are relevant and mobile-friendly.”
In November 2014, Google started labeling sites as “mobile-friendly” to denote which pages are optimized for phones. In February 2015, Google announced plans to roll out mobile ranking changes on April 21 (an unprecedented move — the company almost never announces algorithm changes in advance).
A webpage is eligible for the “mobile-friendly” label if it meets the following criteria, as detected in real time by Googlebot:
- Avoids software that is not common on mobile devices, like Flash
- Uses text that is readable without zooming
- Sizes content to the screen so users don’t have to scroll horizontally or zoom
- Places links far enough apart so that the correct one can be easily tapped