As of April 21st, Google, the world’s biggest online-search engine, will start implementing another major overhaul of its mobile-search algorithm. This is likely to penalize many websites, which is why some have called the change “mobilegeddon”. The latest change is not meant to discriminate against rivals, but demote sites in Google’s mobile-search results that are not deemed “mobile-friendly”. That means, for instance, those that have text too small to read on a smartphone screen, or fiddly links too difficult to open with the tap of a finger, will be discriminated against. “As more people use mobile devices to access the internet, our algorithms have to adapt to these usage patterns,” Google wrote in a blog post in February.
The company announced the impending update in February, giving webmasters nearly two months and plenty of information to make the changes necessary to keep their sites from disappearing from mobile search results. But the update is still expected to cause a major ranking shake-up. The change is really pretty simple. It’s designed to make Google’s search results more useful for people using it on their phones. Starting tomorrow, the algorithm will reward sites with “mobile-friendly” designs and push down those which aren’t optimized for mobile viewing. What, exactly, does a non-optimized site look like? Well, think back to the last time you tried to view a site on your phone and found yourself zooming in and out, trying to find the right button, or failing to view the entire page. In short, it’s annoying, and it’s something Google is now doing its best to stamp out.
SearchControl.com is in the clear, but the Economist points to an analysis in which 25,000 top ranked sites were tested and it was found that 10,000 failed the test—including the Department of Homeland Security.
So this leaves the question…
Does Your Website Pass Google’s Mobile Test?
So, what does this mean for you? If you’re using Google on your phone, it’s going to get better. If you’re a webmaster or involved in running a site and you’re not sure if it passes Google’s muster, you can use their test to find out whether or not you’re in the clear and contact Search Control for help if things don’t look so good!