For a few months now, we’ve been talking a whole lot about responsive web design and how we love creating mobile friendly websites for our clients.
In November, our team wrote about responsive web design and why it matters for SEO, and in the following month we wrote about SEO tips we plan on using for 2015. One of the main tips we mentioned centered around mobile SEO strategies.
More recently, we wrote about the growth of smartphone usage and how to take advantage of this knowledge as you position yourself and your brand in the coming days.
I recently attended a webmaster hangout hosted by John Muller of Google. He is a Trend Analyst who takes time out of his busy life (can you imagine?) to answer questions from webmasters on a fairly broad range of topics. Before we get into the hangout, I wanted to share with you guys a timeline of the topic we're talking about.
Now is the time to make sure your website is mobile friendly.
Mobile Usability Timeline
In October, Google announced they will start providing a mobile usability report in Webmaster Tools. The report relays any information on things questionable in regards to mobile usability from Google to the webmaster in charge of the website.
When Google released the report, I couldn't help but think... Google is really starting to put a ton of emphasis on the mobile experience. I was certain that webmasters would think the same because, alas, we all understand the importance of a mobile friendly website.
Google started testing multiple ways to show users whether or not a web page was indeed ‘mobile friendly’ or not in the SERPs (search engine ranking page) and finally, in November, released an update that showed mobile friendly labels for websites that were deemed mobile friendly.
Jumping forward to January, the search giant started issuing mobile friendly warnings via webmaster tools. It was kind of surprising, because the warnings were very new but almost expected. In hindsight, its surprising that it took this long to start focusing on non-mobile friendly sites.
Jump another month, into February, and there were reports from webmasters and site owners claiming to have experienced some 'hiccups' in traffic. Nobody really understood what was happening at the time. A few weeks later, the news broke.
mobile friendly websites will rank better
As expected, Google issued a statement that they were going to start using mobile usability data as a ranking factor starting April 21, 2015. This means that mobile friendly websites, whether it’s responsive web design or a mobile template, could get a boost in ranking and perform better than websites who weren’t mobile friendly in mobile search results.
John Mueller confirmed the change in the webmaster hangout (the one I mentioned above). In the first minute of the video, he gets right to the point. In the rest of the first segment, he goes through an awesome presentation about the change and why they made the move.
Google Webmaster Hangout (Feb 25th):
There is a follow-up hangout on March 24th -- John plans on leading a Q&A about the future changes.
IS your website mobile friendly?
Don't let your website fall in rankings; we're here to help. We create responsive websites and mobile templates to enhance user experiences. We know that more and more traffic is coming from mobile and we're ready for it. We understand Google's mobile friendly guidelines and know what it takes to pass the mobile friendly test.
Reach out to us if you have any questions or leave a comment below. Our team of web professionals are eager to talk you through any questions you may have about your website.