Go Mobile or Go Home

Multiracial group of people with cellphones
Google continues to champion responsive web design.

More people primarily use their phone to access information these days, and that number is only going to continue to increase yearly, monthly, even daily.

We use mobile when we wake up, when go to the bathroom, when we walk to the car, when we walk from the car to the office. We use mobile when we eat lunch, when we sit on the couch, when we lay in bed. It’s safe to say, that a majority of the time we search for desired information, we use the mobile internet. Phones and tablets are more used than desktops in a strikingly large differential.

Surging Forward in 2016

Starting in May 2016, Google is going to make another aggressive push that increases the effect of its inner mobile ranking. This is another example of the progression undertaken by Google to move towards a greater mobile-friendly internet. Google announced last year that “more Google searches take place on mobile devices than on computers” in the US. As mobile usage and searches have surpassed desktop, the impact of this update has grown naturally.

According to Statista.com, in 2017, figures suggest that more than 63.4 percent of mobile phone users will access online content through their devices. And according to reports from eMarketer, mobile traffic makes up about 30% of all global internet activity. All of these numbers are going to increase and Google is trying to shove us in the right, mobile direction.

Increase Ranking Factor

The new update is an evolution of the current algorithm. The same criteria and filters will simply be given more power as an overall ranking factor.

True success within Google and other search engines is synonymous with having a successful mobile presence. Google will forgive a site for bad HTML, but it won’t forgive sites that waste their resources.

Google’s May 2016 mobile push will put a significant dent in some sites’ traffic; sites that aren’t mobile responsive will undoubtedly experience a dip in organic traffic. This isn’t anything new, Google has been advising webmasters about mobile issues for years, but this is a new and dedicated push that is more than likely a sign of changes coming to Google’s search algorithm.

They are going to roll out the changes slowly, at first, and as the algorithms calculate, the speed of the push will pick up.

Onward and Upward

This change should not have come as a surprise, a push that will affect mobile searches in all languages, worldwide. Let’s face it, we live in the future. The desktop web is still here, and always will be, but it is already becoming second fiddle to mobile devices.

A website is eligible for the “mobile-friendly” label if it meets the following criteria:

  • Avoids software that is not common on mobile devices, like Flash
  • Uses text that is readable without zooming
  • 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

To check if your site is mobile-friendly, you can examine individual pages with the Mobile-Friendly Test or check the status of your entire site through the Mobile Usability report in Webmaster Tools.

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