As mentioned in last month’s Industry News, Google has announced and launched their new algorithm update which the press has dubbed ‘Mobilegeddon.’
The algorithm change gives preference to mobile-friendly websites in search rankings and punishes those that aren’t optimised accordingly.
But since it has launched, what has happened? What exactly does it affect? How can you identify whether your site is mobile-friendly or not?
According to Search Engine Land, there hasn’t been massive changes in the Google mobile ranking yet. After a relatively uneventful first week, there was speculation that the update would be rolled out in its entirety roughly two weeks after launch, which would be about now.
The mobile-friendly update will still have its intended effect down the road, and recently Bing announced that they’ll be using mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal in their searches as well.
But beyond the changes to your search engine ranking, ensuring that you have a mobile-friendly site is best practice in giving your site visitors the best online experience. For most of your customers, your website will be their first direct interaction with you and your agency.
The good news is that if you’re a business owner without a mobile-friendly website, it’s not too late and there’s still time to make it happen.
Even with the update being live, there are still questions around its effect. So, here are some quick answers to the most common questions:
- Mobile Search? So not computers? It only affects mobile devices, so if you’re worried about your desktop search rankings plummeting while you figure out how you want to lay out your website for mobile devices, have no fear.
- So just phones? Although “mobile-friendly” is the term being used, your search rankings on tablets won’t be affected.
- Google just looks at the Home page? It’s applied on a page-by-page basis and not on a domain level. So no, not just the Home page – every page.
We may never know just how big of a ranking signal “mobile-friendliness” is in Google’s eyes but at the end of the day, content is still king. An article that’s not mobile-friendly but is longer and more informative about a topic will still rank higher than a piece that’s mobile-optimized but inferior in substance.
Google sums it up even better:
“The intent of the search query is still a very strong signal — so even if a page with high quality content is not mobile-friendly, it could still rank high if it has great content for the query.”
There are a few ways to tell if your website is mobile-friendly, but beyond a basic eye test, run your website URL (address) through Google’s mobile-friendly test to see how Googlebot views your site on a phone.
To get a more complete look at how your entire website stacks up, log into your Webmaster Tools account, click “Search Traffic” on the left-hand side and then “Mobile Usability” from the options that will appear. Here you’ll be able to see how many of your website’s pages, if any, have errors that are negatively affecting your visitors’ mobile experience.
Currently, this report in Webmaster Tools will only reveal what pages contain usability errors and not what specifically is causing them, but it will still point you in the right direction. Some of the most common errors include:
- Small Font Size
- Touch Elements Too Close
- Flash Usage
- Fixed-width Viewport
- Content Not Sized to Viewport
- Viewport Not Configured
Once you’ve identified that your website isn’t mobile-friendly, you can choose one of three configurations – responsive web design, dynamic serving, separate URLs — to turn things around.
It can take some time to make the changes, but if you make a mobile-friendly website a priority, you’ll see the benefits and your visitors will thank you.
If your site is not mobile friendly, EAC offers a range of website solutions that are all user and mobile friendly.
They come complete with:
- User friendly responsive design
- Optimised for mobile devices, including iPhone and Android.
- Agent contact details with convenient instant call and email facility
- Multiple property photo scrolling feature
- List or map view property search options
- Social media enabled
Click here to view our template websites or contact our sales team on 1300 137 161