On April 21, 2015, Google rolled out its latest algorithm, designed to use a web site’s “mobile-friendliness” when determining its page ranking. This was an expansion, Google said, of its 2013 algorithm change adversely affecting responsive web pages with faulty redirects and other “not-ready-for-smartphone” errors. Since that time, mobile-only searches have increased, surpassing desktop searches in 2014. Google seeks to “reward” web sites who are embracing the increase of mobile technology but ranking their pages higher on the search engine results page (SERP).
Google announced this most recent change earlier in April so that webmasters could prepare accordingly. Google posted several links allowing webmasters to check for the page speed, mobile-friendliness, and mobile usability of their web sites. Many helpful articles and checklists were posted all over the web, and businesses scrambled to make the necessary modifications so that their rankings wouldn’t be negatively impacted.
So, what has happened in the past 2 months?
Well, there seems to have been an effect on SERP, but not as much as anticipated. According to a BrightEdge.com survey, only 17.3% of 20,000 non-friendly web pages tracked were removed from the first page of search results after the algorithm change. While it certainly seems that many web sites dropped off the first page due to their lack of mobile compatibility, this didn’t seem to hold true for branded companies whose sights were not very mobile-friendly; their rankings changed slightly but not significantly.
In other words, the results appear to be inconsistent (so far).
Mobile Compatibility: Only 1 of Over 200 Ranking Factors
While it seems that many sites were already mobile-friendly (or made to be so in light of the change), it’s important to keep in mind that mobile compatibility is only 1 of over 200 ranking factors. Weighted more heavily? Yes. And, consider this: according to Google’s Inside Search blog, non-mobile-friendly sites may maintain their high ranking if they offer meaningful, useful content end users want.
A Good User Experience is the Prime Directive:
Offer Meaningful, Useful Content End Users Want
The bigger issue here is: why wait for a Google algorithm change to get your web site more mobile-friendly? When a user finds your site on their smartphone, do you want their experience to be one of ease and fluidity of use (menus, drop-down menus, buttons, etc.), or cumbersome and hard-to-navigate, with pages that require lots of precious data to download?
1st Straw offers a free web site analysis to check for these, and many other, issues. We look “behind the curtain” of your web site to see if your site is built to properly respond to Google’s web site crawlers combing through the Internet in response to search queries.
Better Marketing Ideas Create Better Results. Call 1st Straw Marketing & Promotions today at (888) 235-3088 or visit us at http://www.1st-straw.com.