The day of mobile reckoning has arrived.
Starting today, Google will prioritize mobile friendly websites when someone conducts a search using their phone.
Websites that Google’s search engine deems fit for mobile viewing will also receive a special badge (see the above screenshot of the search I did for Mobilesyrup) that will tell users it’s mobile-friendly.
In a unprecedented move for the company, Google announced the change months in advance. Normally, the company doesn’t tell the outside world that it’s about to make a significant change to its search algorithm, but Google thought that in this case advance notice was needed.
Despite the warning, the change is expected to have a significant impact on many websites. In an interview with Business Insider, Itai Sadan, the CEO of Duda, a company that helps build websites for other businesses, said, “Come April 21, a lot of small businesses are going to be really surprised that the number of visitors to their websites has dropped significantly. This is going to affect millions of sites on the web.”
Part of the problem is that Google hasn’t shared a comprehensive breakdown of how its search engine will determine a site’s ranking. Instead, the company simply gave a short list of guidelines for webmaster to keep in mind.
- Websites should avoid software that is uncommon on phones, such as Adobe Flash.
- Websites should use text that is readable without the visitor having to zoom.
- Content should be sized to the
- Finally, links should be far enough apart from one another that there’s very little chance of someone clicking the wrong link.
The company also suggested that website owners run their site through the company’s mobile-friendly test.
According to Business Insider, 60 per cent of online track now comes from mobile devices, so the change is warranted, but that still doesn’t mean it won’t be painful for some.