Google to give a boost to mobile ready sites.

by Jim December 4, 2014

Google have not come out and specifically said your site will rank higher in mobile if it is optimised for mobile but they may as well have. It the last 6 weeks there has been a flurry of activity around mobile search results which usually means a ranking signal change is on it’s way.

Smartphone crawl errors.

As we pointed out earlier this year, Google now considers redirecting your mobile users to an m dot version of your site an error or a “faulty redirect” unless it is an exact mirror of the desktop site for content. Then this week they launched a feature they had been testing for a while, labelling mobile friendly sites in the mobile search results as just that. This seems to have been useful for users as they have decided to make it a permanent feature. Three years ago I made this video about mobile search. It seems every year prior to the big sales in the US Google makes some mobile announcements. This year is no different.

Mobile Usability

A few weeks ago Google launched another mobile feature in Google webmaster tools. Mobile usability. If it’s in Google webmaster tools it will soon become a ranking signal just like everything else in Webmaster tools.

Mobile Usability
Mobile Usability Feature

If Google says something is an error you had better fix it.

More Mobile Announcements

Yesterday Google also announced more features for mobile shoppers. On their Google SHopping Blog they released some extraordinary numbers mainly that shopping searches alone coming from mobile have increased 3.5 times in just the last year. That is pretty amazing. Certainly we’re not seeing the same steep growth curve with most of our clients data but a 30% increase in mobile activity on last year’s numbers seems pretty standard.

From Penalty To Promotion

For over the last year Google has been hitting sites with a stick in mobile search results that are unfriendly. If you had lots of flash mobile users were warned off your site in search results, then your site was dropped in search results if you had “faulty redirects” . The next step in this evolution is that mobile optimised sites will be favoured over none optimised sites. Just how big of a ranking signal it will be remains to be seen. Like all of the ranking signals though, whoever has the most, wins.
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