Anyone who works in the Internet marketing world knows that Google is the one to watch, and that the search engine giant rarely gives details about upcoming algorithm changes. However, in an arguably uncharacteristic move, Google recently announced an imminent change to the way they’re going to rank mobile search results.
According to Search Engine Land, Google announced last month that mobile-friendly websites will start ranking higher in mobile search results — a change that pretty much every SEO firm saw coming since Google began designating mobile-friendly sites with a tag last November.
Mobile is, of course, an essential area of search engine optimization and efforts to influence a website’s rankings in search engine results pages. These days, more and more Americans perform searches on their mobile devices. In fact, half of all local searches are done on a mobile device.
Studies show that 51% of consumers are more likely to purchase something from a website that has been optimized for mobile. Additionally, local mobile ad spending is expected to grow to a whopping $18 billion by next year.
The point is, websites should probably already be mobile-friendly, but there is time to respond to Google’s announcement for those that aren’t. Websites have until April 21 to be optimized for mobile.
“We have been urging our clients to make sure their mobile credentials are up to date for a while,” says Marcy Moore, VP of Sales, MorePro Marketing. “I think that this new algorithm is just another update, that, as business owners need to be aware of. The general public uses their phones to look up and search for information that they need. It makes sense.”
Though Google has been tagging websites as mobile-friendly for a few months now, beginning April 21 mobile optimization will actually have an effect on rankings. Why? As always, Google is seeking to give their end-users — search engine users — the best possible results and user experience, and people simply prefer sites that are mobile-friendly.