As of April 21st, Google changed it’s mobile search ranking criteria. This new requirement may affect a sites relevance and position on the dreaded list of site’s that are “not mobile friendly.”

According to a test carried out by Google’s analysis team, mobile sites must meet certain criteria to keep rankings up, like text size, amount of space between links and whether the content fits across a small screen. The lower your scores on these criteria, the lower your Google search ranking. This could mean major dips in revenue for companies who depend heavily on web traffic. The fall in rankings will affect searches done on mobile phones only, not on tablets or desktops and will affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide.

“There were some big names among those who still didn’t make the cut on Monday, based on a few cursory searches of Google’s free testing tool. Microsoft’s Windows Phones homepage didn’t have a mobile-friendly design, because the text on the site was “too small to read” and links were too close together.” — Parmy Olson, Forbes Magazine

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Websites adjusted to be easier to use on mobile devices can expect to move back up in Google’s search rankings over time. But why take the risk? Confirming a site’s mobile compatibility is as simple as clicking here.

Google will no longer display URLs

Another change coming your way, Google will no longer display URLs in mobile searches. Only domain names and titles will appear, offering quick hints about what’s on the web page. Website developers and company owners can provide more than one preferred name letting Google algorithms choose between them.

“The Googlers said this change will help mobile searchers better understand websites. Because if the title link and brief summary aren’t enough, you can now look to the green line in between to find more information.”— Stephanie Mlot, PC Magazine

With these Google changes in place, it’s clear to see the continued growth of mobile will be impacting business at every scale. Its also clear to see that Google will continue to innovate new ways to improve the user experience beyond search. They recently announced streamlined Search results which will load pages fast, even on slow connections. They have developed a technique that will optimize web pages to be faster and lighter, preserving most of the relevant content.

In Mid-May, they will be carrying out a field test in Indonesia to provide streamlined search results and optimized pages when the user searches on slow mobile connections, such as 2G. Google’s experiments have shown that their streamlined and optimized pages load four times faster than the original page and use 80% fewer bytes. When the users’ overall experience becomes faster, a 50% increase in traffic to the optimized pages is not out of the question.

While this is currently focused on search, a new faster experience in all areas of the web could be in your future.


Sources:
Site Not Mobile-Friendly? Kiss Your Google Ranking Goodbye, April 20, 2015
Google’s Mobile-Ranking Showdown Is About To Kick Off, April 20, 2015
Faster and lighter mobile web pages for Indonesia, April 30, 2015
g+ blog post: Streamlined Search Results, April 8, 2015