How Google Plans to Increase Mobile-Friendly Search Results
A big part of maintaining a website is making it as mobile-friendly as possible. Users need to be able to access your pages from cell phones, tablets, and other devices as well as their home computers. Yet, Google reminds us that all information must be accessible whether or not its site is inherently mobile-friendly. According to Google experts, it’s crucial that a website be “configured properly and viewable on modern devices.” For example, website managers should avoid bombarding users with too many links or using text, sound, or images that will not load properly. Managers should also avoid consistent linking to sites that aren’t mobile-friendly.
While these guidelines are helpful, Google acknowledges they don’t always lead to the best search results. Today’s user can find over a million hits on any given topic even if he or she uses Google’s advanced searches. Some of the results may look like they come from trustworthy sites, but turn out to be plagiarized, poorly written, or duplicate content. To avoid these pitfalls, Google recently announced two changes to its operations that will “help users discover more mobile-friendly content” and improve the ease of conducting relevant searches.
One of the best ways web masters can know if their sites are mobile-friendly is through Google’s ranking signal. Beginning April 21, 2015, Google will expand the use of this signal to include searches in all languages and on all topics. This way, users can easily find reputable sites about the most obscure topics. The “relevant, high-quality searches” will be tailored to mobile devices. Non-mobile friendly sites are weeded out automatically. The ranking signal will help examine entire websites for mobile friendliness and show users the pages or links that are most compatible with their devices.
Applications, or apps, have become so popular that Google must also tailor its search results and algorithms to them. Beginning in April, Google will use its large database of indexed apps to “feature surface content from indexed apps more prominently in [searches].” App users can check to see if an app they frequent is indexed in the Google indexing code lab. App indexing uses “deep links” to help users find the exact topics or phrases they’re searching for more quickly. Google’s app index currently features Facebook, Foursquare, Twitter, Yelp, and a plethora of other frequently-visited sites.
Google will continue employing its Mobile Usability Report to alert users to mobility issues on different sites and help them find the most mobile-friendly options. Google experts encourage web masters to test their sites for mobile friendliness before and during the building process.
Is your website mobile friendly? To discuss in more detail, be sure to contact us at SteerPoint Marketing or call 317.436.7910.