Google Ranking Changes Set to Penalize Websites without Mobile-Friendly Presences

July 11, 2013

Google has made some mobile-focused changes to their ranking factors recently, and sites and searchers are both going to start noticing.

We all know Google wants to give users a positive search-experience by promoting sites with a positive user-expierence, and that goal applies even when a search is happening on a mobile device.

If a site doesn’t have a mobile optimized version, has a poorly designed one, or provides a unfriendly user-experience for searchers trying to access it on smartphones and other devices, Google’s paying attention, and the search engine is going to start penalizing their rankings. It seems that soon mobile SEO will be a much bigger factor in the mobile SERPs than ever before.

Examples of the kind of “common mobile mistakes” that Google is trying to route out include sites with flash embedded in their mobile pages, sites with 404’s, with smartphone-only errors, sites that redirect mobile visitors to other pages, like a generic mobile-optimized homepage, while the intended page, and most other internal pages, remain unpleasant to browse or even impossible to find. These sorts of things are frustrating for users and Google’s finally showing that mobile-unfriendly sites like these are going to feel that in their rankings.

Unlike some of Google’s algorithm changes that can complicate SEO–often boosting Google’s revenue by incentivizing PPC in the process–these most recent changes don’t seem to have anything to do with Google, and everything to do with us. Google wants to give users a great time, whether they’re on they’re at home or on the go, on a desktop computer or a smartphone.

It’s about time that sites without mobile presences, or with poorly executed presences, get on the bandwagon–and Google’s new rankings are going to make sure that sites understand the importance of making that happen, which is great news for all of us mobile users out there.

So, what do Google’s new mobile ranking factors mean for you?

It’s 2013. If you’re running a site that’s not mobile-optimized, it’s time to make sure you have a site that will make mobile users and search engines happy. To learn more about how to optimize your mobile site, check out some of our mobile marketing tips.

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