New Google Search Procedure Favors Mobile-Friendly Websites

Savvy businesses searched on smartphones will see benefits

(Image: Thinkstock)
(Image: Thinkstock)

Here’s a question for your business: Is your website mobile-friendly?

It’s an inquiry that you’ll want to know the answer to as soon as possible, because Google is making a big change that could affect where your business ranks in search results.

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Starting Tues., April 21, Google searches conducted on smartphones will be greeted with listings for websites that are mobile-friendly, according to The Associated Press. That means if your website is responsive (“adjusts,” if you will, to various screen sizes, from the tiny views on a smartphone to the cinematic presentations on a 52-inch television, and everything in between), you’ll likely rank higher than a website that requires side scrolling or drags because of incompatible multimedia elements.

The change was announced by Google back in February, but business owners could notice a rise or drop in Web traffic this week.

The new formula will not affect search results found while using desktop and laptop computers, the report said.

The Pew Research Center says that 64% of American adults own a smartphone, and according to the AP report, Google processes nearly two-thirds of the 18.5 billion searches conducted on these users’ devices. About 29% of all U.S. search requests are conducted on a smartphone and that number is on the rise.

The “Mobile-geddon” could further be a bane for those who stand to lose visitors and money because their sites takes too long to load due to pictures or graphics, or frustrate with buttons that are hard to see or touch.

Small businesses are likely to be the hardest hit by this change, the report says. According to Search Engine Land magazine Editor in Chief Matt McGee, “A lot of small sites haven’t really had a reason to be mobile friendly until now, and it’s not going to be easy for them to make the changes.”

Though Google weighs many factors, one of the most important is still whether or not a site contains the most pertinent information sought by search requests. This new formula may push some of the most relevant sites to the bottom of a search list or onto another page in favor a quicker-loading site.

To find out if your site is mobile-friendly, visit Google’s tester and also look at its list of tips for developers to improve site responsiveness.



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