Google recently made a very big announcement that it was to start including mobile usability of websites as a ranking signal in all mobile search queries.
During the latter part of 2014 we wrote an article “Google considers mobile user experience as a ranking factor” to notify business owners and webmaster of the potential plans Google had to include mobile versions of websites as ranking signals. It also provided some tools and checklists to ensure that websites are optimised for mobile usability and search results. As the number of mobile search queries increases on a daily basis it became crucial for Google to provide mobile users with results that were not slow, did not involve scrolling and zooming to read, and rendered information quickly.
With all the hype around mobi sites, responsive design and mobile usability, you might find yourself wondering why? The reason why mobile design is no longer an option, but has become an industry standard is that a study conducted by Google shows that 61% percent of mobile users will not return to a website that they had trouble viewing or using. Over and above that, the same report indicated that 40% of those users will go to competitors to find the information they are after. By not rendering visitors a version of your website that is optimised for mobile, is not slow, does not involve detailed zooming and scrolling, Google is able to give a greatly enhanced user experience, which is an ongoing topic of importance for them we we can expect to see ongoing improvements in the future.
Google’s Mobile usability announcement
The announcement from Google stated that “Starting April 21, we will be expanding our use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal. This change will affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide and will have a significant impact in our search results. Consequently, users will find it easier to get relevant, high quality search results that are optimised for their devices.”
What does this announcement mean to mobile usability and webmasters?
With the announcement from Google stating that results will be affected as of 21 April, it has provided a timeline for webmasters to get their ducks in a row and have their websites designed with mobile usability in mind. They have also created and provided a mobile testing tool to ensure that websites meet their mobile usability criteria. Web designers and web masters can no longer get away with giving their clients a website that only works on desktops or is extremely basic. They need to now take responsibility and inform their clients of these important changes and provide them with an all-encompassing finished product. This announcement also clears up any rumours and removes any doubts about the benefits of mobile web design and encourages those that don’t have optimised websites to very quickly start working through their checklist.
Savvy Sprout is a professional marketing and design company that provides businesses of all sizes with solutions that are geared towards business improvement and increased brand awareness. By following and applying design principles from all the major industry players and regulators, the team at Savvy Sprout provides finished products and solutions that are in line with industry standards to gain maximum exposure. Not only do we follow these updates very closely, we also involve our clients so that they are always aware of what is happening in the industry. We believe that as specialists in our field it is our responsibility to keep our clients informed of changes and advise on the best options available for maximum gain. If you have any questions you would like answered then we will gladly assist you.