As always Google is keeping up with the times and is set to give a ranking boost to mobile-friendly websites in its latest algorithm update. As of April 21st, 2015 Google will be rolling out an algorithm update that will extend mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal in their “SERP” (Search Engine Results Page).
This update is simply due to the growing amount of users moving towards their mobile devices for search. If you have ever tried to look at a webpage that is not mobile friendly on your phone you know how cumbersome it can be.
One of the interesting and somewhat unprecedented nature of this announcement is the fact that it was announced at all and with specific dates to when Google plans to roll this out. Google has been known to hold their cards pretty close to their chest when it has come to algorithm updates in the past. Usually by the time they announce that an update is coming down the pipe it has already been rolled out in secret. But in this case it seems that they didn’t feel the need to cloak their efforts in providing the best possible search results for their end users.
For businesses that are stuck on an old outdated platform this could be considered bad news as moving to a new platform that is a responsive design can be somewhat costly depending on the depth and needs of their website. For businesses that have already moved to a responsive design you can breathe a sigh of relief knowing that your business could be getting a boost in the rankings. But let’s not get carried away here! If your website is still a mess or you have a weak or blacklisted link profile this algorithm update will not take you to the top as it is just another factor or signal that can be stacked alongside all the other signals that Google looks for.
It is fair to say however that if you are a business that is looking to move forward and capture more customers from your website then this is no longer just something that you would like to have. It’s now something that you must have, not just because of the algorithm update but because of the growing amount of consumers who are finding you on their mobile devices. Responsive web designs are much better for the end user and it is now a strong factor for your SEO as well.