Google has announced that it has made significant changes to the relationship between mobile devices and websites that are designed to “work” within the parameters of, for example, a smartphone screen.
In an official post on its Webmaster Central Blog, the tech giant revealed that it was “boosting the ranking of mobile friendly pages on mobile search results”.
So what does this mean? In essence, when smartphone users are looking up a particular topic or tying in a certain query, websites that are optimised for smartphones will rank higher.
“Now searchers can more easily find high-quality and relevant results where text is readable without tapping or zooming, tap targets are spaced appropriately, and the page avoids unplayable content or horizontal scrolling,” Google explained.
“While the mobile-friendly change is important, we still use a variety of signals to rank search results. The intent of the search query is still a very strong signal — so even if a page with high quality content is not mobile-friendly, it could still rank high if it has great content for the query.”
This is a big change and a wake up call to organisations, big or small, across all sectors and industries, about the way they engage with stakeholders and present information. Simply put, they need to get mobile-friendly.
It makes sense, as smartphones and tablets are fast becoming the go-to devices when it comes to surfing the web. And, additionally, we’re doing more via handheld gadgets – websites have to be just as useful on a smartphone as it is on a laptop or desktop computer.
“Sites penalised by Google for not being mobile-friendly could find a dip in users and a potentially a dip in sales,” cnet commented. “The changes are potentially significant enough for those running websites that they've earned the mock-apocalyptic nickname ‘mobilegeddon’."