Google mobile update: Mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal

From 21st April, Google is expanding the use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal and online businesses UK wide will be affected.

Bespoke | Web Specialists, a Preston-based digital marketing agency, has issued a stark warning to all North-West businesses about an upcoming Google update which is rolling out at the end of April.

Gary Bennion, digital strategy director, said: “The search engine giant is expanding their use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal from the 21st April 2015; and the change will give more weight to mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal, for searches done on a mobile device.

“It is anticipated it will have a significant impact on search results, affecting millions of websites and mobile searches worldwide. Make sure your website isn’t negatively affected or you will lose potential sales, leads and revenue.”

The digital specialists explain that if a website is configured properly for mobile devices, you should see an improvement in your rankings for searches on a mobile, and ultimately an increase in traffic from mobiles. But if your site isn’t configured for mobile use, you may see your positions in the mobile search results drop, and thus traffic from mobile devices drop.

Google use over 200 signals in their algorithm to determine where to place your site in the search engine results pages and for which terms. The reasoning behind the update is simple; to help users discover more mobile-friendly content.

The search engine giant wants to help users find sites and pages which are not only relevant to their query, but also usable. If a site is hard to use on a mobile, with the design not optimised for small mobile screen sizes and text difficult to read, this is not a good experience for the user.

If your site isn’t mobile friendly, consider investing in a responsive website i.e. a website that works on all devices including desktop, tablet and mobile. Having a responsive website will increase your traffic, and also the return you get from that traffic, as the user experience on your site will be vastly improved. By ensuring your site is conversion friendly and optimised for the mobile user journey, you’ll reap maximum benefit of this Google update.