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Google's Mobile-Friendly Algorithm Update

David Hellowell

Google's Mobile-Friendly Algorithm Update

Today sees the arrival of Google’s mobile friendly update, aimed at rewarding those sites that offer the best browsing experience for users on mobile devices. Unusually, Google announced the impending update to webmasters back in February, giving publishers a head start in making the required changes to their content.

Fluctuations are expected over the next fortnight as the update settles in, and we’re expecting to see a rankings boost for pages that pass Google’s mobile-friendly test. The algorithm analyses content in real time and on a page-by-page basis, so if your site includes a mixture of friendly and unfriendly pages your less optimised pages won’t drag down those that score highly for mobile usability.

A large number of high authority sites are reported to have been issued warnings regarding their lack of mobile-friendly content and Google has claimed that the update will impact the SERPs more significantly than both Panda and Penguin. That said, it only effects the core search results, so News, Local and other functions won’t be effected.

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Some common issues that may reduce the mobile usability score of a site include touch elements being too close together, content that doesn’t resize to the device’s viewport, overly small text and other aspects that may cause content or navigation to be unmanageable on a smaller display.

If your site currently features a number of mobile unfriendly aspects and you’ve not seen a downturn in traffic yet, keep in mind that significant updates like this can take a few weeks to take full effect, so you might ultimately not escape unscathed by the end of this process.

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Are you concerned about your site’s performance in the mobile SERPs as a result of this update? Be sure to check the mobile usability section of your Webmaster Tools account, and find out how to resolve the issues using Google’s document on avoiding common mobile mistakes. If you’re looking for assistance in getting the most out of your mobile traffic and are looking to partner up with an agency with the expert experience you need, why not check out our mobile SEO page and get in touch to discuss your requirements.

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