Google: Changes to Mobile Algorithm Coming in May

TOPICSMobile, Organic Search

On Wednesday, Google announced (via the Webmaster Central Blog) that it will roll out an update to the mobile search algorithm beginning in May. The official announcement said that the update will “increase the effect of the ranking signal to help our users find even more pages that are relevant and mobile-friendly.” The update will not impact those who have already created mobile-friendly websites, but it does signify yet another strong push by Google to improve users’ mobile experience.

Google reiterated the importance of making multi-device design and content a top priority, emphasizing the need for streamlined results on phones, desktops and tablets. Although the exact details of the update are largely unknown to end-users, it will feature some alterations of the metrics the search engine uses to rank mobile pages, and it will be implemented gradually to avoid any major ranking drops overnight.

The announcement suggests that Google will begin further docking websites that aren’t mobile-friendly while giving a boost to those that are. Still, mobile-friendliness is not the only factor to consider: “The intent of the search query is still a very strong signal — so even if a page with high quality content is not mobile-friendly, it could still rank well if it has great, relevant content,” Google reps said.

This update is just one more attempt by Google to prioritize mobile-friendliness alongside speed and quality content — two of Google’s most stressed ranking factors. The announcement came less than a month after Google announced a new project, AMP, designed to enhance mobile pages with faster loading times.

Don’t forget: Google offers a handy Mobile-Friendly Test Tool that allows you to test the mobile friendliness of your site. Type in your URL and the bot will quickly analyze your site and evaluate it for mobile ranking factors. And you can always stay informed via the Webmaster Mobile Guide, which provides  guidance on how to enhance your website’s mobile-friendliness.