March 16, 2016 – Google announced that it is “continuing to make the web more mobile friendly.” Beginning in May 2016, Google will be rolling out an update to mobile search results that will increase the effect of the ranking signal with preference toward relevant and mobile-friendly pages.
“Getting good, relevant answers when you search shouldn’t depend on what device you’re using. You should get the best answer possible, whether you’re on a phone, desktop or tablet.” – Google Webmaster Central Blog
A similar, but more notable update was announced in April 2015, when Google released its “mobile-friendly” ranking signal that boosted the ranking of mobile-friendly pages on mobile search results. Think Mobilegeddon!
“The mobile-friendly algorithm is a page-by-page signal, so it can take time for Google to assess each page, and that may be why it will be a gradual rollout. And depending on how fast Google crawls and indexes all of the pages on your site, the impact can be slow to show up,” stated Search Engine Land
Google currently use four mobile-specific ranking factors, but that list will likely grow over the next year as Google evolves.
BEST PRACTICES FOR MOBILE SEO
If a site is not mobile friendly, mobile content, technical, and usability optimization should be a top priority moving forward. For many brands, this is already the case, but this news is a good reminder of its importance. Not sure if your site is mobile friendly? Google can help! Check out Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test here.
If a site is mobile friendly, do not worry about the announcement. Brands with non-mobile pages should develop a strategy to ensure every page on their site conforms to mobile device screens.
Google’s updates over the past year are a sign that in the future, simply having a mobile page or site won’t be enough to rank well on mobile devices.