Search engine results are about to become more mobile-friendly as Google has announced plans to roll out a new update to boost the effect of the ranking signal beginning in May. Google has said that the latest changes will make it easier for users to find more relevant content from smartphones and tablets.
It is almost twelve months since the tech giant released the first significant mobile algorithm, which was termed “mobilegeddon” by webmasters and web developers due to its impact on SERPs. The latest changes won’t be as drastic, and Google has already revealed that those who are already mobile-literate will not be impacted this time around.
The update is being rolled out gradually, so marketers won’t see a significant drop-off for web pages that are not tailored for mobile when the new algorithm goes live. Google has not confirmed the time span for the update, so it could take a few weeks or months before the effects are felt across the board. Updating the mobile-friendly algorithm can often take time as Google has to assess each page due to it being a page-by-page signal.
Google said in a post on its Webmaster Central Blog: “If you need support with your mobile-friendly site, we recommend checking out the Mobile-Friendly Test and the Webmaster Mobile Guide, both of which provide guidance on how to improve your mobile site. And remember, the intent of the search query is still a very strong signal — so even if a page with high quality content is not mobile-friendly, it could still rank well if it has great, relevant content.”
Content continues to be king for search marketers, but mobile is now a key component in SERP success. A report recently published by LSA and Buzzboard found that 60% of users now make local searches on their smartphones and tablets, while Google has stated that the majority of searches globally are now made on mobile.
Google has also launched its Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) initiative since the arrival of the first mobile algorithm last year. AMP aims to make content “fast, flexible and beautiful” and is a great way to ensure mobile-friendliness.