Google announces mobile search ranking changes, is your website optimized for smartphones?
Do you know what percentage of your visitors accesses your website from smartphones? Is your website set-up correctly to handle mobile search and visitors? If you can’t answer these questions it may be time to catch up on your mobile stats since Google has announced new upcoming ranking changes for mobile search results. Websites that have mobile experience issues such as slow speed, faulty re-directs and Smartphone-only errors will not rank as well in mobile search results and will miss out on the ever growing mobile traffic.
“To improve the search experience for smartphone users and address their pain points, we plan to roll out several ranking changes in the near future that address sites that are misconfigured for smartphone users” according to Google.
Website speed has been a ranking factor for desktop searches since 2010 and Google will make it a ranking factor for mobile searches as well. Making sure that websites loads fast is an important factor for Google search since it offers the best user experience. Everybody prefers websites that load fast and for mobile search this becomes even more crucial since a lot of websites are not configured correctly for mobile.
If your current mobile configuration uses separate URL’s for desktop and smartphone users, you have to make sure that visitors are always re-directed to the correct version. If somebody accesses your website from a desktop, they should not be re-directed to the mobile version since it will frustrate users and they will abandon your site.
Google offers the following advice to avoid these issue:
“Simply redirect smartphone users from a desktop page to its equivalent smartphone-optimized page. If the content doesn’t exist in a smartphone-friendly format, showing the desktop content is better than redirecting to an irrelevant page.”
These are common errors that mobile visitors can encounter while visiting your website. Some examples are error pages when accessing your website from a smartphone, the incorrect handling of Googlebot-Mobile and unplayable videos on smartphone devices.
In order to offer the best mobile experience to your visitors, make sure to test your website on different mobile devices and operating systems and “doing so will improve the mobile web, make your users happy, and allow searchers to experience and experience your content fully” according to Google.
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Source: Google Webmaster
Source: Google Insights