The Latest Algorithm Update From Google Targets Mobile Pages
Google has solidified its focus in mobile search by rolling out the latest algorithm update to further boost mobile-friendly web pages in the rankings.
Google has announced the rollout of its second mobile-friendly algorithm update. The first version of the search engine’s enhancements for mobile search is now over a year old as it was first introduced in April 2015. Its primary focus was to boost the ranking of web pages that are considered user-friendly for those performing searches from their mobile devices. The latest version is designed to further increase the effect of these mobile ranking signals.
John Mueller, the Webmaster Trends Analyst from Google, confirmed the updated changes on his Twitter account in mid-May – “The mobile changes mentioned here are now fully rolled out.”
The Effect Of The Changes
Some sites may have already been positively or negatively impacted by the mobile algorithm update in terms of rankings. Those webpages that have received a boost in the SERPs will likely also notice an increase in traffic. Unfortunately, others that were ill-prepared for the changes may have slipped down the rankings and will experience a loss of visitors as well as sales or other measureable conversions.
Google’s Focus On Mobile
Although it is important for a brand to have a strong online presence across all platforms, it is becoming clear that mobile is now more important than desktop. Since it was announced in 2015 that there are more Google searches carried out on mobile devices than on desktops, the world of SEO has noticed a shift in focus towards improving the user experience for mobile users. The introduction of projects such as accelerated mobile pages or AMP offer lightweight fast browsing for mobile users and are already available for those using Google Mobile Search for news-related items.
It is perhaps not a surprise that there is such interest in improving mobile search. The majority of people do not leave their house without a mobile device that has the ability to search the web. Users are constantly using their smartphones to search for information and expect rapid response times and excellent usability of websites that they connect with. Factors such as page load speed, browser caching and clickable links are all important features for visitors. Therefore it is crucial that businesses have a mobile-friendly website that both attracts and retains customers.
Optimise Your Site For Mobile
It is easy for a site to check that Google considers it to be mobile-friendly by running a quick and simple diagnostic test. Sites that are built using content management software (CMS) such as WordPress can download a plugin to convert pages into mobile-friendly versions. Websites that are built using other types of software might wish to hire a web developer to assist them in making their pages user-friendly. When deciding which professionals to hire, it is important to quiz them on their experience in developing mobile-friendly sites and always ask to see their portfolio. You can check their past work using Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool which will give you clarification on the speed and usability of the mobile sites that they claim to have improved. Webmasters should also ask a developer to install Google Analytics in order to evaluate the performance of a mobile site on an ongoing basis.
With so many advancements in website and search technology, it can be difficult for SMEs to keep their sites updated enough to take advantage of the current SEO trends. For many companies it is more cost-effective and makes better business sense to hire a quality SEO consultancy firm to manage your online presence for you.