Google has Moved the Goalposts: Are You SEO-Friendly?


As you will have probably heard by now, back in late February Google announced their next big algorithm update. The change puts the focus clearly on mobile search and mobile usability. The update which rolled out on the 21st April this will take into consideration how ‘mobile friendly’ a website is when deciding its mobile search ranking position.

What does it mean?

What this means is that if your website isn’t considered mobile friendly within Googles guidelines, it will suffer in the mobile search rankings. This is a clear step forward on the current ‘mobile-friendly’ tags displayed on mobile search results, which themselves have been impacting on traffic since being introduced in 2014. The real effect of the update will be sites that aren’t mobile-friendly falling below mobile-friendly sites.

This update comes as Google recognise that a large proportion of worldwide search is now carried out on mobile phones and want to reflect that shifting landscape by forcing people to “move with the times” and become mobile optimised.

Will I be affected?

Pretty much everyone will be impacted either positively or negatively by the change. Those who are mobile friendly will have a boost in visibility and rankings purely from those non-mobile friendly sites they share the results pages with taking a hit and being moved down.

Those that aren’t mobile friendly will of course feel a negative impact from the change, which might result in a fair drop in traffic depending on how drastic the shift is, especially if they were enjoying a good level of traffic from mobile beforehand.

If you know you have a significant proportion of organic traffic coming from mobile phones and you don’t have a mobile site, you will need to make sure you are mobile friendly as soon as possible. If you’re not sure of your mobile organic figures you can find them out from your Google Analytics account. If mobile traffic is over 5% of your overall organic traffic, or you think your mobile traffic is likely to increase in future, then you will need to start thinking about becoming mobile friendly.

What should I do?

We strongly recommend that you get in touch with Verto to find out whether your site is currently mobile friendly under Googles guidelines or not. Our developers will check whether the site falls within, or short of, Googles webmaster guidelines.

For more information on mobile-friendly web development and how it can help you keep up to date with the new algorithm changes, please get in touch with us on 01536 411153 or e-mail us on [email protected]

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