Google Unleashes its New Mobile Friendly Algorithm
The importance of mobile traffic and delivering content that works across devices is a favourite topic for SEO experts and search marketing consultants. A recent move by Google to create a new ‘mobile friendly’ algorithm has shone a spotlight on this occasionally forgotten area of site development.
The algorithmic change was announced by Google Webmaster trends analyst John Mueller following the completion of the rollout of the new mobile algorithm on the 12th May 2016. The initial announcement of the pending change was made during March.
The new algorithm looks for a number of site signals that are typically present in sites that are of high quality. The Google mobile-friendly algorithm is a page-by-page signal. Because of this, it has taken a significant amount of time to roll out the change, as it has become part of the ongoing crawling process. The exact date when the update will come in to play for each site will depend on how fast Google crawls and indexes all of the pages on that site; with this in mind, the impact may be slow to show up.
Google Launches Mobile-Friendly Test Tool
Google has created an extra tool for webmasters to test the mobile-friendly qualities of a site. The mobile-friendly test analyser can be found online at https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/mobile-friendly/.
However, the basics of what the algorithm will look for are relatively easy to understand and practical. In particular, the new algorithm will rank sites well if they meet the following guidelines:
• Avoids software that is not common on mobile devices, like Flash
• Uses text that is readable without zooming
• Re-sizes content to the screen so users don’t have to scroll horizontally or zoom
• Places links far enough apart so that the correct one can be easily tapped
The company has also created a range of developer guides such as the Webmasters Mobile Guide on how to create and improve your mobile site as well as SEO guidance for those using popular platforms such as Joomla, Magento and WordPress.