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Mobile Friendly Search Results

How to Stay Relevant in the Midst of Google’s Mobile-Friendly Update

On April 21st, Google released an update which re-ranks search results based on those most mobile-friendly. This revamp shouldn’t have come as a surprise with the rapidly growing and widespread use of mobile media. In the last three years alone, E-mail usage on smart phones has risen 180%. And mobile usage, as predicted by experts, has left desktop usage in the dust.

In an effort to keep up with the rising demand, the mobile-friendly update focuses on two key features:

  • Ranking mobile-friendly websites more highly in searches and
  • Returning more relevant app content, also known as app-indexing

Based on elements like software compatibility, image and text size, and easy-to-use formatting, the update analyzes and returns what Google describes as “relevant and timely results.”

In light of this, it is important to clarify a couple of points. First, the new update only affects mobile devices. In other words, the re-ranking of sites based on whether they’re mobile-friendly or not will not occur on your desktop, only your smartphone. Moreover, tablets, with the exception of phablets, are not considered mobile devices, and are therefore also excluded from the mobile-friendly update. It is relevant to note that this update extends to all languages Google accommodates, and is the same for both Android and iPhone.

To stay up to date after the new mobile-friendly update, we recommend:

  1. Testing your site Google provides an easy to use Mobile Friendly Test, which examines pages individually, rather than your entire website. If you’re unsure of whether or not your site is optimized for the new update, Google also provides users with a Mobile Usability Report and step-by-step guide to app-indexing.
  2. Making your site mobile-friendly, if it wasn’t before Before you do anything, it is crucial to back up your site before making any changes. If you’re unsure of how to do this, contact your CMS provider. From here, you can update your CMS to the latest version and make sure any custom themes as well as template pages you’ve used are mobile-friendly. For more information, check out Google’s Mobile Guide.
  3. Contacting a web developer, if in doubt Google provides an array of excellent resources, but as with anything, if you are unsure of what to do or how to proceed, hire a professional. Montana Banana is happy to offer these services if need be.

Stewart McCullough

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