Mobile-friendly is the SEO magic word
Billions of internet users worldwide prove it: The future of the internet is mobile. Google is also following this trend and is now getting serious: As of April 21, 2015, the mobile-friendliness of websites will be used as a ranking factor for search results. For you as a webmaster, that means mobile optimization from now on.
More and more mobile internet users
At the end of last year, Google introduced a marking for “mobile-friendly” websites in the search results in mobile search. Some webmasters then received warnings from Google if their pages were not yet mobile-friendly. Since then, it was only a matter of time before mobile optimization would also have an impact on Google search results. Google is reacting to the ever-increasing proportion of people who use the Internet with smartphones or tablets. Google is now drawing the necessary conclusions and will give preference to mobile-optimized websites for a better position in Google search results. The changes will be affecting equally all mobile searches including all languages worldwide. It is confirmed according to Google Webmaster Central Blog.
What does mobile optimization mean?
Google strives to provide all users with the most relevant and up-to-date information. However, the requirements for displaying content on mobile devices are different from those for desktop PCs. Mobile optimization aims to be mobile-friendly, i.e. whether a website is “mobile-friendly”. According to Google, mobile-optimized websites are characterized by the following points:
Software: The website does not contain any software that is uncommon on mobile devices. One example of this is Flash, which is still popular for interactive elements but cannot be displayed on Apple devices (iPhone, iPad), which make up a not inconsiderable part of mobile devices.
Font size: The text on the website can be read without zooming. The font size should never be set too small so that mobile users with small displays have no problems with legibility.
Content: Not only the text but also the content of the website is adapted to the display size of mobile users. This prevents users from having to scroll long to find information.
Links: The distance between the links on the website is sufficiently large so that mobile users do not experience any problems when clicking, for example, because they accidentally click on the wrong link.
To find out whether your website is mobile-friendly, Google offers a mobile-friendly test. At the same time, tips for mobile optimization are given here.
How can I optimize my website for mobile?
For a mobile-friendly website, there is, on the one hand, the option of creating a subdomain or a subdirectory specially designed for mobile devices. However, this can lead to duplicate content, as the mobile version means that there are two versions of the same website. On the other hand, there is the flexibility that you get with an independent mobile version in the design. In this way, the sometimes very different requirements of the desktop and mobile versions can also be optimally implemented.
Google’s recommendation: responsive web design
What happens if I haven’t optimized my website for mobile by this point?
In the worst case, it could happen that websites that are not yet mobile-optimized as of April 21st could get a poorer ranking on Google in the long run. This manifests itself in a poorer ranking in the search results, which in turn can have a significant impact on the traffic of the site. Webmasters who have already received a warning from Google in the past few months should therefore react promptly to avoid this.
In return, as a webmaster, you can now be one step ahead of your competitors and push your site through mobile optimization in the Google ranking.
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