Why is mobile friendliness important to Google?

In this article we define what mobile friendliness is and why it is so important. We mention what Google is doing on this front and what you can do.

At the end of January 2015 Google sent a lot of warnings to websites that have what they call "critical mobile usability errors”. These are just warnings however but Google and no doubt other search engines will start to include mobile friendliness as part of the factors that will rank a website in the search engines.

What is mobile friendliness?

This can be defined as how well a website adjusts to the wide variety of devices now available to the average person. A good mobile friendly website is a website that appears nice and neat of a mobile, tablet and desktop without any problems and allows a visitor to move about, click on pages, view video etc.
A mobile unfriendly website is one what may have issues adjusting to different devices and may have issues with its display and or content not showing.

Why is it important to Google and other search engines?

The statistics below show that mobile use of web surfing is rising and so the issue of mobile friendliness is going to be an issue soon for Google and other search engines and websites in general

  1. 50% of traffic on Google’s search engine is via mobile devices.   
  2. During the last holiday season 22.5% of all online sales were from mobile devices.
  3. Over 80% of Americans use their smart phone and or tablets at the same time as watching TV.
  4. 90% of web surfers move between devices to accomplish their goal. This is typical of shoppers.   

Source: link-assistant.com

What is Google going to do?

Google is moving in the direction of mobile friendliness being a ranking factor and is actively labelling websites that are mobile-optimised as "mobile-friendly" in the mobile search engine results. Other search engines will no doubt be doing the same at some point.

The result of this will be that websites that are mobile friendly get a boost in ranking positions where conversely those websites with issues are downgraded and lose their positions.

What do you need to do?

Get going on the mobile friendly route
To start your website going on the mobile friendly route you should use Google's own mobile friendly test to check your website over for any issues that will affect mobiles. This test will point out problems to you that you should address.

Make your website mobile friendly
Next you must choose a solution for making your website mobile friendly.
A while back we wrote article concerning how to build a mobile compatible websites, see here. This highlights just what you can do including taking the responsive route or mobile website.

Follow best practices of optimising your website
You should find out about the best practices of optimising your website for mobiles, see here and follow them.  These practices are just a few of the things you should do to make your website become and stay friendly to mobile devices. Also listed are some common mistakes to avoid doing, even by accident.

Optimise your mobile website/application
You should also find out about optimising your mobile website or mobile application to promote it in mobile search results because even if your website is mobile-friendly and meets Google criteria, it will not automatically get top ranking in mobile search engines. There are some methods you can use, see here