Google, being the industry leader in organic search, has made a point to emphasize user experience as a factor in its rankings. Last month, they took this to a new level by unleashing “Mobilegeddon” on us all: considering a site’s responsive web design as a ranking factor for mobile searches. This means, bluntly, that sites that are considered “mobile-friendly” will be given preference on searches that take place on cell phones.
From a philosophical standpoint, this is a great move for the experience of the overall Internet. From a practical one, however, it could mean negative impacts if your site isn’t considered “mobile-friendly.” So, how can you tell whether your site qualifies?
Google provides a tool that allows anyone to check a domain name for mobile friendliness. You enter the site you want to check, and Google crawls it the same way it crawls it when it is indexing your site. Once it finishes its crawl, it shows you the result. By using this tool, you can clearly and quickly see whether your site is considered “mobile-friendly” or not.
Is my website not mobile-friendly?
There’s no exact formula for Google’s designation, but the tool will provide you with action steps that can help your website’s mobile experience. However, the best bet to getting into Google’s good graces is a responsive web design that is configured with best practices in mind. If your site is not responsive, this change will improve not just your mobile experience, but your user experience across all devices.
Is my website mobile-friendly?
Congratulations! Your work may not be done, however. Google will still provide you with optimization points if it finds you could improve your site. Additionally, there are other new ranking factors that this tool will not tell you to improve on, such as site speed or rich data markup. Mobile-friendliness only affects searches from mobile devices, so don’t stop thinking about improving your site now.