Google Mobile Friendly Update Explained

Google significantly altered the landscape of mobile search results when they launched the Google mobile friendly update. This pivotal update, first announced on their official blog, has profound implications for websites and their search engine optimization (SEO) strategies.

Understanding the Google Mobile Friendly Update

The update is designed to enhance the user experience on mobile devices.

Here’s how it impacts SEO:

  • Ranking Boost for Mobile-Friendly Websites: The update favors responsive and mobile-friendly websites, offering them a ranking boost in mobile search results.
  • Penalizing Poor Mobile Experience: Elements that degrade the mobile user experience, such as small tap targets or unreadable text, can negatively impact your website’s rank.
  • Global and Language-Agnostic Impact: This update affects mobile search results across all languages globally.
  • Page-Level Application: The update applies to individual web pages rather than entire websites. That means each page’s mobile-friendliness assessment is independent.

Around the time of this update, Google also integrated support for in mobile search results. Schema markup allows web admins to provide structured data, enhancing search engines’ understanding of the content and web page context.

Fluctuations in Mobile Traffic Post-Update

Post-implementation of the Google mobile friendly update, SEO experts reported significant fluctuations in mobile traffic. This variation was likely due to the gradual rollout of the update and ongoing adjustments by web admins to align with the new standards.

Testing Your Website’s Mobile-Friendliness

The search giant offers some useful tools to determine whether your site meets the criteria set by the Google mobile friendly update.

A screenshot of someone using PageSpeed Insights to become compliant with the Google mobile friendly update
  • You can use the Page Experience feature in Google Search Console for insights into your site’s mobile friendliness. This tool identifies issues such as small text or elements too close together and offers solutions.

How to Ensure Your Site is Mobile Friendly

By now, you know ensuring your website performs well on mobile devices is crucial.

Here are the key steps:

  1. Use Responsive Design: Implement a responsive site that adapts to multiple screen sizes, providing a seamless experience across desktops, tablets, and smartphones.
  2. Optimize Loading Speed: Fast loading times are essential for mobile users. Compress images, leverage browser caching, and streamline code. Use Google PageSpeed Insights to analyze and improve your site’s loading speed.
  3. Simplify Navigation: Create an intuitive and straightforward navigation structure for mobile users. Large, easily-tappable buttons and clear menu hierarchies improve usability on small screens.
  4. Ensure Text Readability: Your text should be easily readable on mobile devices without zooming. Choose legible fonts and appropriate sizes for readability on smaller screens.
  5. Avoid Flash: Most mobile devices don’t support Flash. Use modern web technologies like HTML5 for better compatibility and performance.
  6. Optimize for Touch: Design with touch interaction in mind. Ensure links and buttons are adequately spaced and large enough for easy tapping.

Side note: We can help you with this! Get in touch for a free 30-minute mobile friendliness consultation.

Final Thoughts

The Google mobile-friendly update was a wake-up call for many website owners. It draws particular attention to the critical need for websites to provide a user-friendly experience on mobile devices.

Optimizing for mobile is not just an enhancement but a necessity for effective SEO and to ensure a favorable position in mobile search results.

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