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Mobile friendliness: how will it affect you?

    Websites that are mobile responsive – in other words they adapt content to display large and clear on a smartphone – will be the big winners under new search priorities announced by Google.

    On the other hand, websites that do not respond to the user’s device will be actively penalised.

    What does that mean? It means that when someone types a search via Google from a mobile phone, the priority will be given to sites that display well on the device, which could be bad news for you if your site doesn’t.

    Is this an over-reaction? After all, there have been major announcements in the past that have not seen the sky fall in. However in this case, we have already seen the damage done. Google has been giving soft warnings since late last year and we have seen some client sites knocked out of the number one position. In fact, they were knocked from the number one position on page one to the middle of pages six and seven.

    That’s like moving your shopfront from Rundle Mall to a remote desert town, where few people will find you.

    As website developers, Boylen generally advises clients to proceed cautiously. Yet in this case urgency is required. We have seen websites penalised for poor optimisation and this is now a major factor in determining rankings.

    The reason for the strong action from Google is that more and more people are using their mobile phones to search for information. A site that is designed to fit a desktop screen and doesn’t alter the layout for a small phone screen is not offering the user a good experience. People have to peer at the screen, zoom in, pan from side to side to read a sentence, and trying to click on small buttons is a nightmare.

    Here’s what Google has to say: “Starting April 21, we will be expanding our use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal. This change will affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide and will have a significant impact in our search results.”  If you would like more information, the details are here: http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com.au/2015/02/finding-more-mobile-friendly-search.html

    We will post more on this in the coming days. Our next blog will be entitled:

    How do you become “mobile friendly”?

    In the meantime, if you would like more information, please feel free to contact us at any time, either through our contact form or by calling Peter Blumenthal, our Digital Sales Manager, on 08 8233 9433.

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