By Meghan Hamm, Digital Strategist
The mobile-friendly algorithm update that Google launched on April 21st has caused a lot of commotion in the internet marketing world as many companies scramble to update their website in fear of losing search traffic. This update has been designed to reward mobile-friendly sites with higher rankings on mobile devices to help improve the search experience for users.
If you have not checked to see if your website pages are considered mobile-friendly, you should use Google’s Mobile Friendly Test. This will let you know if your pages are mobile-friendly or not and will tell you what you need to fix in order to pass the test. If you have a Google Webmaster Tools account, you can also check your entire site using this Mobile Usability dashboard. If you do not have a Webmaster Tools account, you can set up this free resource relatively easily.
If your site did not pass the mobile-friendly test and are concerned, here are some more facts about the update and the potential affects it might have on your search traffic.
1. The update affects only search rankings on mobile devices. So, the traffic coming from desktops and tablets will not be affected.
2. It applies to individual pages, not the entire website. Some pages of your site might be deemed as mobile-friendly and other pages may not be.
3. Google is only demoting mobile un-friendly sites for non-branded search queries. Meaning the searches that appear with your brand name in them will not be affected.
4. Local business listings or local pack listings are not affected by this update either.
5. Sites that are mobile friendly will say that they are on mobile devices:
6. Site speed is also not a ranking factor in the mobile friendly update.
7. The algorithm is a real-time dynamic update, meaning once your site becomes mobile-friendly (if it already isn’t) you will recover the lost traffic that occurred due to the update. It also means that if you make a change to your site that makes it not mobile-friendly, then you will lose the status.
8. Even though responsive designed websites are the preferred solution for mobile-friendliness, if you have a site that uses a separate mobile URL, it can pass the test just the same.
Regardless if you have been affected by this update or not, it is important to have a mobile-friendly site to improve user experience.