The percentage of mobile web-traffic has dramatically increased to over 50 percent of overall traffic for some websites. Google recently launched their algorithm shift to favor sites that are “mobile-friendly” so that consumers can find content easy to read and interact with on smaller mobile screens. The update will not affect results from desktop searches. This change means that people who use Google to search on their smartphone may not find many of their favorite sites at the top of the rankings. Since Google is the largest search engine on the World Wide Web, sites that haven’t updated could find themselves ranked way lower, which in turn could mean a huge loss of business.
A page is eligible for the “mobile-friendly” label by Google if it meets the following criteria:
- Avoids software that is not common on mobile devices, like Flash.
- Use text that is readable without zooming.
- Size content to the screen so users don’t have to scroll horizontally or zoom.
- Place links far enough apart so that the correct one can be easily tapped.
Here are a couple of Google tools that will help meet the mobile-friendly standards:
- Test the strength of your web site’s mobile-friendly design and analyze the URL. This site will also give suggestions on making it a friendly site. https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/mobile-friendly/
- Test the web site’s mobile SEO to ensure the information will show up in search results. Explanations on how to configure web sites for multiple devices help search engines understand configuration, and avoid common mistakes along the way. https://developers.google.com/webmasters/mobile-sites/
Bing, web search engine by Microsoft, has also unveiled its mobile-friendly roadmap. Bing has started to tag and rank search results as “mobile-friendly” to help searchers skim through results.
“Our approach to mobile friendliness as a ranking signal balances the need to improve the ranking for mobile-friendly pages, with the continued focus on delivering the most relevant results for a given query. This means that for mobile searches on Bing, you can always expect to see the most relevant results for a search query ranked higher, even if some of them are not mobile-friendly. While the changes will improve ranking for mobile-friendly pages, webpages that are highly relevant to the given query that are not yet mobile-friendly will not get penalized. Our priority is delivering the best search experience for our customers, and we are committed to evolving Bing search to ensure that we are delivering the most relevant and helpful results. Mobile-friendly webpages are key to satisfying on-the-go information needs, so it is important to optimize sites for an increasingly mobile user base.”- Bing explains on their approach to the mobile topic.
More information on Bing’s factors, read here.