You probably already know how important it is to make your website mobile friendly for a better user experience, but did you know that having a mobile-friendly website may help your SEO?
Recent activity from Google indicates that an algorithm change could be coming soon. It is no wonder that Google cares about mobile; Internet usage on mobile devices made history when it exceeded PC usage in early 2014.
Google’s Penalty for Bad Mobile Experiences
In June 2013, Google announced a penalty for websites that produce bad mobile experiences, and offered tips on how to fix the two most common mistakes: faulty redirects and smartphone-only errors. In their related blog post, Google stressed the importance of avoiding these and the other common website misconfigurations for smartphones. This penalty impacted how sites ranked for smartphone search results, making sites which provided a bad mobile experience less likely to rank in smartphone searches.
Google’s Mobile-Friendly Designation
Two months ago, Google announced a new “mobile-friendly” designation, which makes responsive web design more important than ever to business marketing strategy. The new “mobile-friendly” label appears in mobile search results to highlight websites that offer great mobile experiences.
This change is yet another indication of how much Google values high-quality mobile experiences, and it only heightened the buzz among industry experts that mobile-friendly criteria will soon be used as a ranking signal in search algorithms.
Google’s Mobile Usability Warnings
In January 2015, Google sent mass notifications via email and through webmaster tools to owners of sites that aren't mobile friendly.
<----- Example of Google's response for a website that does not meet mobile-friendly standards.
Author's note: After this post was written Google announced mobile-friendly compliance will be a ranking signal starting of April 21, 2015.
Mobile-Friendly Website Tips and Tools
If you care about SEO (and I know you do), don’t suffer negative impacts to your website ranking when Google officially launches a new algorithm—use the following tips and tools to get ready.
- Conduct a mobile-friendly test using Google’s Mobile-Friendly Testing Tool
- Check your website for errors using Google’s Mobile Usability tool
- Invest in responsive web design for your next website redesign