Google set to shake up website ranking in April
Websites will soon be ranked by Google with regard to how mobile-friendly they are.
With mobile device usage consistently on the rise over the past few years, Google has been trying to get websites to become more user friendly for mobile devices.
For some time they have had a free tool available for web owners and developers that allows you to check if your website fits Google’s definition of mobile-friendly:
You can enter your website name into the tool and it will give you a score for your website on both mobile and desktop devices.
Up till now they have been encouraging mobile-friendly website design, but now they have advised, “there will be a big ranking change happening April 21 that affects non-mobile-friendly websites in mobile search.”
What this means is that if your website is mobile-friendly it will be given favoured ranking by Google, and all things being equal you will move up the Google ladder while non-friendly websites will be shuffled down.
This month they are running what they have named #MobileMadness to increase awareness of the changes. They have a new free tool that can be used in addition to the Pagespeed Insights tool:
Try comparing your website to your competitors’ websites, to see how you compare. If you score poorly in comparison, and Google ranking is important for your website, then you should think about making some changes. The above mentioned tools will give advice on where your website is falling short and give suggestions on how to remedy it. Even if you are not web-savvy, website owners might benefit from running the tools and advising their website managers if the results are poor.
To put things into perspective, getting high scores is not necessarily easy. Here at teqbrief we have worked hard to score well and our results are: 70% for mobile speed, 100% for user experience, and 88% for desktop. These figures compare well against our competitors and due to various constraints we can not get much better results without considerable further effort. Probably your best approach is to try and be ahead of your rivals, not necessarily get 100% in each category. The results of the tests will show you where the biggest improvements are to be made, and the decision can be made as to what efforts will give you the best returns.
One thing is for sure though: mobile devices are here to stay, and potential customers are using them. If Google believes you are not providing these users with a good experience then they will favour delivering them to websites that do.