Finally! Google have confirmed that mobile sites will benefit within search results.
SEOs have known for some time that mobile friendliness is a ranking signal (Google Caffeine really was the start of this from a speed perspective) and its great to see it being confirmed by Google.
Google confirmed the rollout of their new algorithm will happen in April 2015 and you can read the official Google announcement here.
Below is the main callout from the announcement and the size of the update:
Starting April 21, 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.
So what does this mean for websites and the like? Check out my top tips that you’ll need to know and possibility implement before the above date.
1. Follow Google best practice
Follow Google best practice around website setup, this considers m. website to responsive: https://developers.google.com/webmasters/mobile-sites/?hl=en
2. Test, test and then test again
Test your mobile offering across as many devices as possible from desktop PCs, laptops, tablets, phablets and smartphones – Google Chrome has a testing tool which will help: https://developer.chrome.com/devtools/docs/device-mode
3. Assets and presentation matter
Make sure all of your assets such as images and videos on your website work across different screen sizes – Koozai have a good guide on this: http://www.koozai.com/blog/analytics/usability/make-video-images-responsive/
4. Always put the user first
Make sure your mobile solution really puts the user first – here is a great article from UX Magazine: http://uxmag.com/articles/10-responsive-design-problems-and-fixes
5. Speed matters
Bear in mind that users expect websites to deliver messages fast, so website speed and load times should also be a factor from a mobile perspective – use the Google PageSpeed Tool: https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights/
Pro tip – track change
The date of the update has been published so it might be useful to track ranking flux using these tools and keeping an eye on your rankings.