Published on 15 May 2015 (Updated 15 May 2015)
Since April 21, 2015, Google has launched its “mobile-friendly” algorithm, which aims to promote the referencing of websites that are adapted to mobile versions.
We know that mobile internet access doubles every year. According to Médiamétrie, the population of mobile users is about 54% for men and 46% for women. Time spent on smartphones and tablets increased by 56% between 2012 and 2013 and 16% of internet traffic comes from mobile.
With the considerable increase in these figures, Google has seen fit to adapt its algorithms to improve the ranking of sites that have made the effort to offer a mobile site in addition to the classic site (desktop).
What will this mobile-friendly algorithm change for your SEO?
Based on its secret algorithm, Google offers a ranking of websites for each request of an Internet user. The positioning of sites varies according to many criteria. Google has decided to add the “mobile friendly” as a criterion, meaning the ability of the site to be displayed on mobile devices.
Why is this mobile-friendly algorithm change important in terms of SEO?
To be positioned on the first page of Google’s search results, ahead of the competition, has become a primary objective for all website managers.
The company Synodiance published in 2013 a study on the rate of clicks observed in Google France, 90% of these clicks are concentrated on the first 3 links:
- 1st position in Google search results: 33% of clicks on computer and 30% on mobile.
- 2nd position in Google search results: 15.6% of clicks on desktop, same on mobile.
- 3rd position in Google search results: 10% of clicks on desktop, same on mobile.
Sites that are not compatible with the new Google algorithm are therefore likely to lose 10% of global traffic. According to the company Yooda “In April 2015, in France, 64% of sites are not ready for mobile!”.
The most affected sectors are:
- Administration, with only 27% of sites mobile compatible.
- Real estate, with only 33% of sites mobile compatible.
- E-commerce, with only 37% of sites compatible with mobiles.
Google will therefore favor sites optimized for mobile and these sites will thus benefit from the “mobile site” label. This label indicates a site well thought out for smartphones, and therefore is mobile-friendly. On mobile, this will change the ranking of results. Google employees have clearly announced that Google will favor pages that are with mobile-friendly label.
Who will this change impact?
Google has stated that the changes will not affect all mobile and search results. This algorithm will only affect the positioning in mobile search results in all languages, and will not apply to the entire site but only to individual pages.
Smaller commerce businesses could be the victims and suffer traffic losses as the mobile manufacturing budget may be too large to consider for this type of business. Moreover, they are not necessarily informed of the news the search engine announces.
However, this announcement is very important for them. In fact, according to a Google Mobile Movement study, 88% of consumers who search for a local business type on mobile will call or visit the small business within 24 hours.
However, Gary Illyes (Webmaster Trends Analyst at Google) assures that this change will not impact “local search.” If your business is listed on Google My Business and does not have a mobile site, the site’s ranking will not be impacted.
To appear in local search and avoid a loss of ranking with a poorly optimized site on mobile, it is helpful to create a Google My Business page. However, a mobile version of your site can represent significant advantages. It will indeed improve your positioning in natural search as well as the experience of your visitors on your site.
What solutions to consider when faced with this algorithm?
Whether your audience comes mostly from mobile sites or not, you must adapt and make your site “mobile friendly”.
Google offers a “mobile compatibility test” that confirms if your website is mobile-friendly or not, followed by these explanations:
- Unreadable text.
- Mobile display window not properly configured.
- Links too close to each other.
- Content wider than the screen.
Google also delivers a small guide of best practices for developers and webmasters to achieve a site optimized for mobile.
You can also call on your web agency or professionals to implement the development of your mobile site.