Mobile usability is being added as a major factor in Google’s mobile search results beginning on April 21.

This new ranking factor is part of a Google’s long-held plan for increasing mobile-friendliness and is a wake-up call for anyone who has yet optimized their sites for mobile users.

In its official announcement on the subject on the Official Google Webmaster Central Blog company officials had this to say about the impending changes:

This change will affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide and will have a significant impact in our search results. Consequently, users will find it easier to get relevant, high quality search results that are optimized for their devices.

Webmasters who want to know how mobile-friendly their sites are (in Google’s eyes anyways) can utilize a new Mobile Friendly test tool from the search giant.

All tests must be run by verified site owners, so this won’t be much help in finding out if your competition is more mobile friendly than you are.

What Makes Mobile Friendly?

On their Developer’s Site, Google outlines its main ideas about what mobile-minded webmasters should know including:

  • Make it Easy for Customers.
  • Measure the effectiveness of your website by how easily mobile customers can complete common tasks.
  • Select a mobile template, theme, or design that’s consistent for all devices (i.e., use responsive web design).

None of these suggestions are particularly radical and, hopefully, have been part of your mobile design plans for a long time.

Other Mobile Search News

In other mobile search news, Google has also announced that, effective immediately the company will:

…begin to use information from indexed apps as a factor in ranking for signed-in users who have the app installed.

In layman’s terms, that means that app users can now open content deep app content from Google search results if they are already one of your registered users.

The final word here is that Google is dead serious about mobile usability, mobile search, and everything else that unleashes their search/advertising juggernaut from the confines of the desktop.


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