Google Confirms Mobile As Ranking Factor

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Craig Smith  |  Founder & CEO

This past Tuesday, Google confirmed that it is beginning testing on integrating mobile user experience into ranking factors.

Along with the announcement, the mega search engine rolled out a new way to inform webmasters and users if a site is considered optimized for mobile without having to load the page.

The add-on, which will insert the words “mobile-friendly” to the left of meta descriptions in search engine results, is set to debut globally over the next few weeks.

What This Means for Your Site

Poor mobile design is currently grounds for penalization by Google. If the beautiful user experience of your desktop site doesn’t translate to mobile, you’ll likely see a drop in SERP placement. Mobile mistakes include web pages that don’t readjust to small smartphone screen sizes, slow load times, and buttons that simply do not function on these portable devices. Most retailers haven’t been prioritizing for this new platform, with the typical ecommerce site load time at 4.8 seconds on an iPhone 5s, according a Radware study on retailers and mobile user experience. So, if you aren’t already doing so, ensuring every aspect of your website is as great on a tablet as on a desktop can help bump you ahead of the competition by not only saving you from penalties but also by earning you a “mobile-friendly” badge and boosting your rankings.

How to Earn A “Mobile-Friendly” Badge

According to Google, your page may be eligible for a label if it includes the following features:

  • Avoids software that is not common on mobile devices, like Flash
  • Uses text that is readable without zooming
  • Sizes content to the screen so users don’t have to scroll horizontally or zoom
  • Places links far enough apart so that the correct one can be easily tapped

To further tailor your web pages, start by checking out some of our quick tips for optimizing your site for mobile, from installing call buttons to tacking conversions. If you are just building your site or are ready to do a major overhaul, the responsive design route is the way to go. Also, don’t forget about including features that are especially effective on the go, like a mobile store locator tool to quickly direct shopper from the street straight into your stores. With testing already underway, mobile user experience and all the small details that come with it is more crucial to your SEO tactics than ever before.

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