It has now become even more important to have a mobile-optimised website. From today, Google’s new algorithms will change the way it ranks websites, this time favouring sites which are mobile-optimised. It is the increase in smart-phone usage which is the driving force behind this change.
The new algorithm updates are likely to have a much greater impact than the last two updates, Panda and Penguin, which only affected 12% of searches.
In a blog post about the changes, Google said: “We will be expanding our use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal. This change will affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide and will have a significant impact in our search results.”
In the UK, adults spend more time on their mobiles devices than desktop computers, averaging 2hours 26 minutes a day, excluding voice calling time. This is a dramatic increase from five years ago when it was roughly half an hour a day, and clearly demonstrates the growing space mobile technology takes up in our lives.
Google estimates that around 50% of all searches are conducted by mobile devices, through both apps and browsers. The change in algorithm certainly is not an unnecessary change. The use of technology is not declining, but instead increasing, with more multiple device usage becoming more common.
Whilst, overall, the PC can still claim the largest share of internet browsing, there has been a steady decline as mobile and smart devices become ever more present.
An increasing number of companies are offering mobile experiences and are making a clear move towards ‘responsive’ design, where sites scale automatically for the browser window of device’s screen. This constant consideration of the customer’s experience is one of the major reasons for Google’s change. It has always backed regularly-updated, topic-focused and unique content, but now it is moving forward again to put first those who put their customer first.
There have not been any figures announced about the number of sites to be effected, but it is likely there will be a number of companies rushing to optimise their site for smart devices. The impact of this is likely to be visible within weeks.