Google is changing up their ranking algorithms again and this one could be a dozy for the unprepared. Starting on April 21st, Google will begin using Mobile responsiveness as a ranking factor in search engine optimization.
As a blogger, I think it is a bit of a hassle, but as a user, I can’t help but shout for joy. There is nothing worse then trying to navigate a non-mobile responsive website on your phone.
I was looking through my analytic numbers and realized that over half of my traffic originated from mobile devices. This isn’t something I had been tracking, so I was a bit surprised with the results.
After noticing this number I went through a bunch of my more popular posts and revamped them slightly for increased phone use. Reading through a large block of text on a phone is significantly more difficult then doing the same thing on a laptop.
I don’t have time to update all my old posts, but am planning to view my new posts on my cell phone after posting them as part of my quality control process.
I recommend testing out your sites on your phone, iPad and multiple browsers. Take the time to ensure that your readers experience is consistently good across multiple platforms.
Google has taken it a step further and prepared a testing tool, which you can access here. It is very simple and easy to use. You literally type in your website, Google does its thing in the background and within seconds you should get the following report:
If you have issues, you get the red screen of death instead:
I have no idea how much the non-mobile sites will be penalized with their ranking, but assume it is significant. Google knows the trend of the future is small mobile, personal devices and is going to force the blogging world along with them.
If you are a small blogger like me you may be able to change to a mobile responsive theme. I currently use Themify for my various sites and so far all of them have passed. If you have a more elaborate site you may need to take it a step further and have some basic coding done.
For additional information check out this article by Splash Copyrighters – SEO news: is your website mobile-friendly?
Good luck and let me know how the upcoming update affects your numbers.