Today marks Google’s implementation of a new mobile search algorithm that is meant to change mobile search results for the better. As usual, Google’s standard for “better” is based on user experience, so this change is geared for mobile users rather than businesses. Our online experience is increasingly on our mobiles as our phones are often our primary source of technology on hand, whereas desktops, laptops and tablets have different limits and contexts for users. The sites that are optimized for mobile experience will be rewarded and rank higher over sites that do not translate as well from desktop to smartphones.
This is what Google is looking for:
– Easy-to-read text
– The site width resizes to fit the mobile screen
– Well-spaced and easy-to-click links
– Mobile-friendly software
Precious to Google’s mobile-focused algorithm, there was already a difference in search results between smartphones and desktops, but top results on desktops would show up as top results on mobiles as well. Now, this is no longer a given. Desktop searches and mobile searches will be treated separately by Google, and users will receive the best quality results for the platform they are using.
Websites show up on Google results pages with or without a “Mobile-friendly” tag, accordingly. With the new algorithm, mobile users should get search results that favor the most mobile-friendly sites with the best quality information. For example, restaurants are one of the most-searched businesses on mobile phones. If you owned a restaurant, you would naturally want to show up as one of the top results in local searches. This could make a measureable increase in your customer traffic and business. What this new algorithm change reminds us all is that ultimately, websites are meant to connect us to our customers and give them valuable information and experience.
If you Google your site today to see where it stands, keep in mind that the implications and effects of the new algorithm will take some time to show up (for some sites, a few days; for others, a few weeks). Bigger brands have the resources to ensure they stay on top of mobile search results, but more established businesses are likely to continue to rank for relevancy regardless of mobile usability. This means that it is the smaller businesses that need to make the extra effort to show up in search results.
In the end, this algorithm is important because being mobile-friendly for mobiles should be a given. Yet the overarching point is to provide the best user-experience, so a mobile-friendly site with poor or less relevant content will be ranked accordingly for its overall quality, not just whether it’s mobile-friendly or not. If you are a small business, now is the time to evaluate your site and ask yourself how it can give potential and current consumers and partners the quality of experience that represents your business and goods/services. It is worth it to invest in optimizing your site and minimally have initial consultations with web specialists who can give you their professional feedback on how your site can improve. Let’s take this opportunity to see the mobile customer as a specific customer we can benefit and connect with.