SEO is important to optimize your site for mobile and there are claims that the impact of mobile-friendliness influences search ranking. Mobile devices account for over half of all searches on the web.

Since smartphones have become more ubiquitous, mobile search has grown and Google had to reevaluate its approach to ranking mobile-friendly sites. Want to make sure that your site is mobile-friendly? Get in touch with our SEO company in Kerala.

And this evolution led to an event that’s known in the SEO community as “mobilegeddon.”

This read will investigate the claims and provide clarity on the impact of mobile-friendliness on search rankings.

 

The Claim: Mobile-Friendliness Is A Ranking Factor

Websites that are designed to fit on mobile screens are said to benefit from a ranking boost over sites that are only optimized for desktops.

This claim arises from the fact that a greater percentage of searches are conducted on mobile devices. And also based on the understanding that Google aims to serve pages with the best user experience.

With many users searching on mobile, the best user experience is assured by serving results that work on both mobile and desktop.

Before mobile was dominant, people used to search Google and it was common for users to land on pages that weren’t optimized for their smartphone or tablet.

Users became frustrated with visiting pages they couldn’t easily navigate. Google started noticing search quality issues.

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Without having any incentive, waiting for webmasters to make their sites compatible with all devices could have taken years.

And Google couldn’t force sites to become mobile-friendly as it wouldn’t be fair to threaten websites with punitive action for having an outdated design.

Instead, Google went about rewarding domains that opted for a mobile-friendly design on their own.

The ranking advantage that was gained by mobile-optimized sites spurred the adoption of responsive web design on a larger scale.

Now, it’s uncommon to conduct a mobile search and land on a page that isn’t optimized for a smartphone.

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The Evidence For Mobile-Friendliness As A Ranking Factor

Mobilegeddon isn’t a myth and to be clear, the name Mobilegeddon didn’t originate from Google. It came about on April 21, 2015, after being announced two months prior.

When Google had launched what’s officially referred to as the “mobile-friendly update,” it stated:

“As we noted earlier this year, today’s the day we begin globally rolling out our mobile-friendly update. We’re boosting the ranking of mobile-friendly pages on mobile search results.

Now searchers can more easily find high-quality and relevant results where text is readable without tapping or zooming, tap targets are spaced appropriately, and the page avoids unplayable content or horizontal scrolling.”

After a year in 2016, Google announced it would be strengthening the mobile-friendly ranking signal:

“Today we’re announcing that beginning in May, we’ll start rolling out an update to mobile search results that increases the effect of the ranking signal to help our users find even more pages that are relevant and mobile-friendly.”

The mobile-friendly update was designed to impact only the mobile search results. And there was no boost for mobile-friendly sites when a user searched on a desktop.

Despite mobile-friendliness being a ranking factor that has been strengthened over time, Google reminds us that user intent is a stronger signal.

If a page is not optimized for mobile, it can still rank in mobile search results if it’s the best match for what the user is looking for.

“And remember, the intent of the search query is still a very strong signal — so even if a page with high-quality content is not mobile-friendly, it could still rank well if it has great, relevant content.”

However, Google advises in its Mobile-first indexing best practices documentation:

“​​While it’s not required to have a mobile version of your pages to have your content included in Google’s search results, it is very strongly recommended.”

Hence, it would only do good if you can make your site mobile-friendly. Do get in touch with our digital marketing agency in Kerala for a comprehensive approach. 

 

Mobile-Friendliness As A Ranking Factor: The Conclusion

Thus, it’s evident that mobile-friendliness is a confirmed Google ranking factor, and websites that aren’t easy to navigate on mobile are at a disadvantage when it comes to search.

Is your business’s website design outdated? We strongly recommend considering upgrading it in order to remain competitive in Google. Do get in touch with our agency for the apt solution as ours is the best amongst the SEO companies in India.