Google’s Upcoming Mobile Change: What You Need to Know

If you’re still wondering whether or not you need a mobile SEO strategy, here’s what you need to know about Google’s upcoming mobile ranking change.

Young People Using Mobile Devices

At a recent SMX event, Google was put on the spot about the upcoming mobile changes to Google’s mobile search algorithm.

Here’s the 9 things website owners should know about the upcoming mobile ranking change and what it means for the success of their website.

1. Mobile responsive websites do not influence rankings

Although mobile is necessary for success online – a mobile responsive website is more about your visitors than the search engines. (Remember, humans first!) Yes, Google is going to slap websites with mobile-friendly labels but mobile friendly and mobile responsive are not the same thing. Mobile friendly does influence the search engine rankings Responsiveness does not.

2. Mobile-friendly rankings are page by page

Just because 1 page in your website is mobile friendly, does not mean your entire website will be seen as mobile-friendly by Google. Each page is individually weighted for rankings so make sure to check your top landing pages against Google’s mobile-friendly SEO tool.

3. Don’t block your CSS and JavaScript Files

Google needs to see your entire website to help increase your search engine rankings. Check your robots.txt file and verify that your important rendering files are not blocked.

4. Tablet rankings don’t exist

Google does not have and it does not plan to have tablet-specific ranking factors.

5. No cut-off date for mobile friendly

This is a little cloudy, but let’s just say to have your websites mobile-friendly by April 21st.

6. Search engine ranking changes will be quick

As soon as Google discovers that a webpage is mobile-friendly, it will be updated on the search engine results pages (SERPs). Remember, this is page-by-page.

7. No other algorithm changes

Google is reporting that they are not aware of any other algorithm changes (as as Panda or Penguin) on the same day.

8. Mobile-friendly changes will not impact desktops

To the best of Google’s knowledge, these changes will not impact desktop computers.

9. A separate mobile index is in the works

Google has announced that they already have plans for a separate mobile index in the future and the team is already working on it. Of course, we don’t know when.

One more thing…

Having a mobile-friendly website is not only good for SEO but it’s also good for your visitors.

Around 80% of all Internet usage is mobile devices and, of that, 60% are mobile-searching in their own homes.

If your potential customers and target market have a smartphone, then your website MUST be mobile-friendly… because I’m sure your competitor’s website will be!

Image courtesy of Napier Academy.

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