Last month we speculated that Google were set to alter their algorithm to favour mobile-friendly sites; now we have the proof.
The mobile SERP algorithm used by Google is set to weigh more heavily towards mobile friendliness as a ranking signal and this will be in force from April 21st. This is according to an official press release issued by Google this week.
It is an unusual move for Google to announce an algorithm change for an exact date, and the simple fact they have done so certainly implies that the latest algorithm change on the 21st April is likely to be a discernible one.
In their recent announcement Google detail that imminent changes ‘will have a significant impact in our search results’. In the past, good ranking strength on a desktop site was often the predominant factor in providing strength to a mobile site. With the anticipated algorithm update due in April, the mobile friendliness of your site could now however have an increased impact on your organic rankings. Google had previously mentioned that this may one day be the case and this latest announcement certainly gives reason to make a rational assumption that from the 21st April this will be the case.
All signals suggest that having a mobile-friendly site will now more than ever improve mobile search rankings. Whether a mobile-friendly site will also affect desktop rankings is still up for debate and at the moment we cannot say for definite if this is the case. What we can expect, however, and what you as a business can prepare for, is that in instances where companies are quick to produce mobile friendly sites, it could likely instigate a dramatic boost in their rankings.
There is no doubt a distinct opportunity to rank above competitors who are slow to realise the developing need for a strong and mobile-friendly site. A site that is equipped for smartphones and tablets is fast becoming a necessity and this current development compounds that the value of a strong mobile site should not be underestimated.