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Mobile friendly sites and Google ranking

The web has been awash with articles proclaiming the end of non-responsive sites, at least in Google’s search ranking. From the 21st April, when a user searches on a mobile device, pages that are mobile friendly are more likely to be ranked above those that are not.

Starting April 21, we will be expanding our use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal. This change will affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide and will have a significant impact in our search results. Consequently, users will find it easier to get relevant, high quality search results that are optimized for their devices.

– Source: Google Webmaster Central

Most new build websites should be responsive (respond to the screen size the viewer is using). If your site hasn’t been updated in a while, it may be time to think about a responsive refresh, and reduce the impact of this new algorithm on your site’s Google ranking. To see whether your site will get the revered grey ‘mobile friendly’ tag on results pages use Google’s mobile friendly test. How did you do? It’s worth noting that this mobile-friendliness test analyses one page at a time, so you may want to run a few pages through the test.

My site isn’t mobile friendly! What can I do?

If your site is meant to be responsive, but you’re still getting the dreaded ‘Not mobile-friendly’ result from the Google’s mobile friendly test, there are a couple of elements to check:

  1. Site uses Incompatible Plugins ie Flash (YouTube is OK) or Silverlight
  2. Content Wider Than Screen – this could be a large image or an iframe that is sitting outside the site’s mobile width
  3. Links Too Close Together – are users with fat fingers able to click links?
  4. Text Too Small To Read – if you have applied styling to text that overrides the sites stylesheet, the text could be too small on some devices
  5. Mobile Viewport Not Set – does the page adapt to different screen sizes?

(Source: urlprofiler)

If you are concerned about your site’s rank falling, get in touch and we can advise on the options for becoming more mobile friendly.

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