Google Now Gives Ranking Boost to Mobile-Friendly Sites

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Last year, Google announced that they would be adding a special “mobile-friendly” label to sites that met Google’s mobile-friendly criteria. For a more in-depth explanation of what this means, check out this post I wrote back in November. Today Google announced on the their blog that beginning April 21st, they will begin ranking sites higher that follow their mobile-friendly guidelines.

Here’s an excerpt from the original article:

“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.”

This isn’t the first time Google has tweaked it’s algorithm to improve the mobile user experience. Back in June of 2013, Google started demoting sites that were misconfigured for mobile users. So in addition to boosting rankings for sites that are optimized for mobile, Google is also penalizing sites that aren’t. The combined impacts are sure to shake things up in the SERPs.

The reason Google isn’t launching the new ranking signal until April is because they wanted to give site owners the chance to prepare. That being said, there’s a lot that you can do to get your site in shape if you haven’t already.

Here are a few resources Google provides that might be helpful:

In the same announcement, Google also said that they would be providing more relevant app content in search results. This would pertain to users that are logged in and have apps installed on their mobile device – so for now, it would only apply to Android users.

If you haven’t optimized your site for mobile yet, then now is the time. Don’t wait until Google demotes your site. By then it will be too late. If you’re like me and use WordPress, there are plenty of great, responsive themes you can purchase from sites like Theme Forest. If you need any help or have any questions, hit me up, I’d be happy to help.

Image by Flickr User: Irita Kirsbluma

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