Google is constantly changing the position of the bar that all web-based businesses have to jump over, and they are at it again. This time the modern-day internet god is changing its algorithms to take into account the mobile friendliness of websites. This change will take effect from April 21 (info on Google Webmaster Blog) and makes a lot of sense considering the fact that, as stated by Google’s Matt Cutts, mobile searches are now far more common than computer searches. Whether it is web design for therapists, doctors, accountants, bakers or candlestick makers – all must take note.
With many webmasters only just having come to terms with Google’s latest algorithm change, Penguin, they now have another obstacle to face, and non mobile-friendly sites will even be penalised by Google. In light of this new revelation, it has never been more important for webmasters to employ responsive web design, essentially meaning that whatever device the website is accessed on, it will adapt accordingly. The search engine giant is even kind enough to let webmasters know if their site is lacking when it comes to mobile friendliness.
In addition to letting the architects behind the sites know if their websites are inadequate, Google also provides tools such as the Mobile-Friendly Test, which designers can use themselves to ensure that any sites they are creating adhere to the new guidelines. The creators of existing sites can also assess just how mobile friendly their page is by using their Webmaster Tools account to view a breakdown of problems related to mobile friendliness on their site. This is done using the Mobile Usability Report.
As the saying goes, nothing is certain but death and taxes… and the fact that Google algorithms will change on a regular basis. But Google is not making this change just for its health. Smart phones are the future, and most sharing of information is done via social networks on mobile devices. It is fairly logical really – if an abundance of information is being shared by mobile users, then it stands to reason that said information should be of the highest quality, from the best sites. This is truly an algorithm tailored to the modern-day trends sweeping the world.