New Google algorithm ranks mobile-friendly websites

The importance of having a mobile-friendly website.

In April this year Google made changes to its mobile ranking algorithm – which has a far reaching impact on websites that are not mobile-friendly.

A website’s page ranking is the value that Google assigns to each page on a website, determining how close to the top of a search page that a result will be displayed. Up until April, the way a page displayed on different devices wasn’t taken into account.

The world has been moving towards a mobile web browsing future for a number of years now. Statistics from GlobalWebIndex.net show that although 91 percent of internet users own a PC or laptop, 80 percent of them also own a smart phone and 47 percent a tablet – and they’re not afraid to use these other devices, especially while watching TV or at any other venue outside the home. And statistically the number of searches happening on these mobile devices overtook the number of searches happening on desktop devices late in 2014.

The two most pertinent statements made by Google about the mobile-friendly algorithm are:

  • Sites must be mobile-friendly on every page. If some pages are mobile-friendly and some are not, it’s likely that the entire site will fail on mobile ranking.
  • Site must unblock CSS and javascript. By unblocking these technologies, this allows Google to access all areas of a website – even on mobile devices, and thus check that the whole site is mobile-friendly.

So what does this change mean for my website?

The new change to Google’s algorithm means that every page on your website needs to be mobile friendly or the page ranking for your whole site on mobile devices will plummet. And internet users who may be interested in the information that your site has to offer have a lesser chance of finding your site.

What’s the best way to overcome this problem?

There are a number of possible technical solutions that address Google’s change. One is using mobile-only versions of your site, but there is a good chance you will be setting yourself up for issues down the road.

For most websites, the simplest way to allow for these changes is to have a ‘Responsive’ design.

And what is ‘Responsive’ design, you might be asking?

Put simply, Responsive web design is related to the concept of developing a website design in a manner that helps the layout to change according to the user’s computer screen resolution.

You may have noticed already when you’re browsing some sites, and you change the orientation of your smart phone from portrait to landscape, that some sites may change the number of columns or width of the site so that the content remains just as easy to read. This is mostly likely the result of responsive design.

How do I know if my website is mobile-friendly?

One of the easiest ways is to use one of the many online Responsive Design Tools like the one by Design Modo at designmodo.com/responsive-test/

This allows you to type in your URL and then see how the site will look on different devices and screen sizes.

If you’re still uncertain if your website is mobile-friendly, we’re happy to help! Call us today at  02 9398 2755 or fill out our contact form at www.bellamedia.com.au/contact-us AMP