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What Does Google's Mobile Update Mean For My Website

Posted by Ben Seldon

The rollout has begun for the infamous Google mobile update.  The reasoning behind the update is sound and is expected to spark a fire storm of web site updates for all types of companies.  The need for updates to web sites can include not only small and medium businesses but also some of the largest firms in the world.

Reasoning Behind the Mobile Updateonline-marketing-firms

The rationale behind Google’s changes are sound.  As the majority of online users migrate to mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets, the usefulness of business web sites on such devices must be considered in search rankings. 

Google has devised an algorithm that is now incorporated into the search engine ranking formula.  Among other items, the algorithm considers:

  • Text is easily read from a smaller screen
  • No horizontal scrolling is required to view a single web page
  • Tap targets are properly placed and spaced apart for easy selection
  • Content that cannot be viewed or used from a smartphone is not shown
  • Minimize or eliminate the need to zoom

This mobile update algorithm will only assess individual web pages, not an entire site.  Additionally, the search rankings only apply when mobile devices are used and will exclude tablets for now.

What Does this Mean for Businesses?

If a business cares about its search rankings – which all businesses should – then an evaluation on the company web pages is in order.  Some of the items to consider when performing the evaluation include:

  • Content – re-examine the content and consider the placement when it is displayed on a mobile device.  Note the size of text, the spacing, and the actual amount of text that is to be read.  If more than a few paragraphs are on the page, consider using a summary with a link to an expanded text display page.
  • Images – make sure images are carefully placed and are attractive on a mobile device.  Images that are too large can consume the majority of a smartphone display and prevent users from getting your marketing message quickly.
  • Links and tap targets – evaluate the size and spacing of all links and tap targets, noting that users can get frustrated almost immediately if these functions are not easily performed. 
  • Quality assurance - make sure each web page works efficiently

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