Update On April’s Mobile-Friendly Update By Google
A hangout with members of Google’s Webmasters team on Tuesday provided some additional details on Google’s planned ‘mobile-friendly’ update. A few notable takeaways from this session were:
- The algorithm will still launch on April 21, 2015 as planned, but could take up to a week to roll out completely
- The algorithm will look at the mobile friendliness of your site on a page by page, real-time basis
- There is no spectrum of how mobile-friendliness a page is. Pretty straightforward: it’s either mobile-friendly or mobile-unfriendly
- It does not affect any desktop searches that may impact you
If you missed my first post on this topic you’ll want to read it here. It has a link to the free Google mobile-friendly testing tool that only takes seconds to complete.
Starting on April 21, 2015, search engine goliath Google will divide the website world into the haves and the have nots. The haves are sites that meet their mobile-friendly criteria and the have nots will be moved into the dreaded mobile-search sandbox. I’ve had some of my sites sandboxed by Google before so trust me when I tell you that you do not want to end up there.
As mentioned above, there is no spectrum of mobile-friendliness. Either your site will make the cut or it won’t and its up to you to make sure you get your site into compliance. In the Google+ hangout vid-chat Google officials explained that more than 200 factors were considered to determine the mobile-friendliness of a web page including:
- site responsive design
- font size and spacing
- button-to-button spacing,
- scannability of content
- functioning redirect pages
- Googlebot accessibility to the site’s robot.txt files
Most of Google’s recommendations focus on the overall user experience which is what they’ve been pushing for years. Google doesn’t like high bounce rates and if your page loads slowly or looks like dog$hit on mobile they know most users will click elsewhere in a fraction of a second which is exactly what they don’t want. With that in mind its also important to improve your page loading speed along with mobile friendliness. Google does not recommend auto-play videos or interstitial advertisements (full-page ads that show before your content) since these interruptions usually annoy the visitor.
Again, if you missed my first post on this topic you’ll want to read it here. On that page is a link to the free Google mobile-friendly testing tool that only takes seconds to complete. Get going on this now since you only have 21 days before the changes go into effect.