The online marketing world was abuzz in early 2015 when Google announced that it is going to begin using the mobile-friendliness of a website as a ranking factor to determine it’s position on the search results page. Citing wanting to improve user experience for visitors on mobile devices, Google’s move sweetened the pot for those who care about mobile user experience. With an announcement last week, the incentive will get a little sweeter starting in May of 2016.
Seeing positive results in the mobile user experience with the updated ranking algorithm, Google is going to further increase the ranking signal that having mobile optimized pages brings. They recently announced in their webmaster blog that starting in May 2016, they will gradually be rolling out an increase in the impact that mobile friendliness will have on a web page’s ranking.
If you already have a mobile friendly website, you don’t need to take any action for this update. Your position will remain the same, if not improve, over non-mobile friendly competition. If you don’t have a mobile friendly website, this is another nail in the coffin for your current website’s interface. You can expect to increasingly have negative ranking changes over time. Note: not sure if you’re website is mobile friendly? Use this tool.
Beyond the discussion of the impact on your website’s Google ranking, it’s important to keep in mind that it starts with user experience. With more than half of Google’s searches are being done on mobile devices, having a mobile-optimized website is the best way for smartphone and tablet users to view your content.