Will Google Deem Your Company Website Smartphone-Friendly?

May 1, 2015

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[google]

When you use Google to search the Web on your smartphone, the results that pop up will favor mobile-friendly sites, Fortune reports. In a development that some are calling “Mobilegeddon,” Google’s latest tweak to its search algorithm could significantly affect how company websites are ranked, with those that meet Google’s mobile standards appearing higher in smartphone search results. Google said that users “will find it easier to get relevant, high-quality search results that are optimized for their devices.”

According to the marketing agency Merkle/RKG, as of early April, 46 percent of Fortune 500 companies and 29 percent of the top-500 retail sites had not received Google’s “mobile-friendly” designation. Websites that don’t meet Google’s new standards could see a drop in traffic so the search giant is offering an online test to determine whether a site meets its mobile criteria. Web pages need to have a layout and text that are large enough so that smartphone users don’t have to zoom or to scroll horizontally. Users should also be able to easily click on links via a touch interface.

Google says that as more people search the Web via smartphones, it has to make sure that it presents the highest-quality results. The change won’t affect searches on tablets or desktop computers. The company says that it continues to use a “variety of signals to rank search results,” and that a page with high-quality content could still rank high even if it’s not considered smartphone-friendly.

Greg Beaubien

Greg Beaubien is a frequent contributor to PRSA’s publications.

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