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Google Mobile Search Algorithm Update Coming In May

Google Mobile Friendly

Right and Wrong: Google’s visual recommendation on how your mobile site should look like to users.

We have become hooked to our mobiles. Everywhere we go, we carry these devices around with us like an extra limb, constantly checking social media and making searches online.

So it makes sense that Google are always looking for ways to improve mobile search. Their first major mobile update was back in April last year. This update saw the first release of the mobile-friendly ranking algorithm, which initially introduced the penalties to sites that weren’t updating their mobile sites.

Since then, being able to search at any place, any time has become even more important for users. The amount of testing Google invests towards mobile search and the introduction of AMPs emphasises just this. 

What is an AMP and What does it have to do with Mobile Search?

Initially introduced by Google and Twitter, Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMPs) are improved mobile pages to increase speed and readability for users. 

You might be wondering what makes them so special? Well, they are a “stripped-down form of HTML”, A.K.A. a smaller, thinner version of a HTML allowing the page to load faster. Without the use of a fully installed JavaScript, it means that the images on the page won’t load until you scroll down to them, making the pages load faster.

The use of these AMPs is a big stepping stone to making mobile pages easier to use and in the process delivering better search results on mobiles.

Why another Update from Google?

As more users turn to their mobiles to make searches and the creation of AMPs to create a better user experience, Google too have to stay up to date with these changes.

They have also done some serious research on mobiles to authenticate their choice to update their algorithms and have concluded that “In the USA, 94% of people with smartphones search for local information on their phones”. With this number so high, Google have upped their mobile friendly game and in May, websites that aren’t deemed fit for purpose will be penalized and will rank even lower than they would before.

Don’t hit the panic button just yet because sites that are already mobile friendly can sit back and relax, as these changes will not affect you. If you aren’t sure if your site is up to scratch, Google have provided a Mobile-Friendly Test, which analyses your site.

Put Your Site To The Test!

All you have to do is put your website URL into the analysing bar as so: mobile friendly test

 After a few minutes it will generate the results:

mobile friendly test 2

Easy, right?

What to do if your website isn’t considered friendly

If your results come back negative, you can either go to Google’s support page where they provide an outline as well as guidance and advice you through making your site more mobile friendly.

But here are some initial pointers to help make your mobile site user friendly are:

  • Large, easy to read text
  • Large, eye-catching images.
  • Clear Layout 
  • Simple menu

Content Still Matters

However, just having a good mobile site isn’t enough, says Google. You still need to have relevant and quality content, as the search query is still an important signal when processing search results.

For mobile search users the update is great news, as it will provide more accurate search results and a better user experience for customers. 

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