Ralf Schulz
By Ralf Schulz | SEO | March 17, 2015

Google and 2015 Mobile Search

In 2015 mobile optimization has been on every site owners mind. Agencies like us have been wondering for some time now when/if mobile search will be a ranking factor for Google, with underlying questions like, “will it have any real significance and when will it be implemented?” Google announced recently on Webmaster Central that making your site more “Mobile-Friendly” will become a ranking factor starting on April 21st. Additionally, they also stated the following:

Googles Announcement

“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. Consequently, users will find it easier to get relevant, high quality search results that are optimized for their devices.”

-Webmaster Central Blog

“Starting today, we will begin to use information from indexed apps as a factor in ranking for signed-in users who have the app installed. As a result, we may now surface content from indexed apps more prominently in search. To find out how to implement App Indexing, which allows us to surface this information in search results, have a look at our step-by-step guide on the developer site.”

-Webmaster Central Blog

Go Mobile or Go Home

Unlike past Google algorithm updates, Google has given us a heads up to encourage all current site owners to prepare their site. By using the Mobile-Friendly Test provided by Google, you can currently put in your domain for a single URL to see where you stand and what you might need to do to appease the Google Gods. I’ve included a screen shot below to show you what a successful test looks like.

[media-credit id=10 align=”aligncenter” width=”405″]Capture[/media-credit]

Google has mentioned that they will be rewarding mobile-friendly sites with better rankings specifically in mobile search applications. They will also do the opposite, if you don’t have a mobile optimized site, you will potentially some type of rank lose within mobile search. Google has always had the intention to eventually include mobile optimization, but they only now have given site owners some encouragement to actually make it happen.

What Should We Expect

Moving into the future, I see all web developers only creating mobile friendly sites or responsive design. At the moment, if you have a mobile website you could potentially have a competitive advantage. With mobile users becoming more prevalent, I believe that the experience you provide on a mobile device will be most important. Users will need to be able to complete the same tasks regardless of the device they’re using.

Finally, Google has also mentioned that responsive design is preferred over mobile specific sites. How this will play out I’m not 100% sure yet. Will responsive design websites outrank mobile specific sites? In my opinion, yes.

As usual, thanks for reading and if you have any questions on today’s topic please leave a comment below.

Thanks again and happy optimizing!

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