Google’s search algorithm update to take on not so ‘mobile-friendly’ websites

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Google, on Tuesday, rolled out new search algorithm to take on not so ‘mobile-friendly’ websites.

Under the new search algorithm, websites not optimized for viewing on mobile devices will drop down in Google search results on smartphones while those meeting the criteria will appear in top rankings. Criteria include text size, content readability, viewpoints, page load speed on mobile, content streaming functionality, faulty URLs, blocked image files or Javascript, and buttons and links close together.

Originally announced in February, the change affects all searches done globally using Google on a smartphone or tablet. The update is basically aimed at pressurizing websites to improve their mobile usability.

“When it comes to search on mobile devices, users should get the most relevant and timely results, no matter if the information lives on mobile-friendly web pages or apps. As more people use mobile devices to access the internet, our algorithms have to adapt to these usage patterns,” Google’s Webmaster Central blog post reads.

“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 optimized for their devices.”

It is expected that Google’s new formula will have a significant impact on how and where people spend their money as more and more people today rely on their smartphones to compare products in stores and look for restaurants.

The search giant has also rolled out a mobile-friendly test and other tools to help sites check if they are mobile-friendly or not and conform to the new mobile ranking.

“If you want to test a few pages, you can use the Mobile-Friendly Test. If you have a site, you can use your Webmaster Tools account to get a full list of mobile usability issues across your site using the Mobile Usability Report,” noted Google in the blog post.