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Why Google Is Making Mobile a Ranking Factor

All mighty web oracle and knowledge broker, Google Inc., aren’t the only ones who recognise that most people don’t enjoy squinting at disproportionate, smushed text and user interface while browsing online via smartphone. Indeed, throughout the e-commerce and wider tech space it is no surprise to industry experts such as Search Factory, a Brisbane-based SEO agency that the developers of the infamous search engine are now altering algorithms to include site mobile-friendliness as a significant ranking factor. To gain insight as to why this change is occurring and how to keep up, have a read through the three interlinked reasons for Google’s latest move below. Mobile-gate is nigh!

1. To maximise reach amid the increasing number of users accessing the internet via mobile

Today, more than half of global online traffic comes from the vast array of searches on smartphone and tablet devices. With penetration levels this high and growing, Google intends to ensure the carefully curated quality of mobile web user experience by ranking sites with valuable content, well-designed user interface and fast-loading pages (amongst other features) before sites lacking these elements. As further explained below, prioritising well-optimsed pages is crucial for Google to sustain their position as the frontrunner search engine. This caters to the needs of large amounts of mobile search users as well as brand marketers.

2. To encourage competition between webmasters to create better mobile site experiences

There are still a number of brands who have not optimised their desktop sites to be navigated more easily on mobile devices. However, Google enforcing site mobile-friendliness as a ranking factor will encourage web design and content progression in the mobile space as brand marketers will have to adapt their sites to meet standards to gain traffic from mobile searches. Although usually known for their mystique, Google have hinted at criteria for leading the way in the mobile rank race. Sites must incorporate text and content that is readable without zooming or horizontal scrolling, distribute links with enough space to easily select them and avoid using software uncommon on mobile devices such as Flash.

3. To utilise heightened mobile site design, traffic and brand competition to drive revenue

Following this algorithmic change, brands marketers who successfully implement improved mobile web design and maintain SEO with best-practice techniques will generally be rewarded with a strong Google page rank, strong traffic and (assuming the rest of your mix is on point), conversion rates and return on investment. Ultimately, Google’s new approach to encouraging more competition amongst brands to achieve these results through the mobile space (and higher penalties for brands who don’t) is likely to see an increase in demand and rise in bids for Google’s paid mobile search, prominence and revenue.

It is official, web gurus – the search spotlight is on enhancing website optimisation for mobile devices. If you’re yet to do so, run your brand’s website through Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test Tool or get in touch with your SEO agency to start preparing for the next algorithm update.