Earlier this year, Google had revealed its plans to make changes to its search algorithms, specifically giving importance to a website's mobile friendliness as a factor that would affect its ranking. This simply means that websites that are optimized for viewing in mobile devices could see their rankings improve.
Now, Google is making good on its word, and has officially begun the deployment of its mobile friendly updates. According to recent tests, the newly updated search algorithms could dramatically affect more than 40 percent of websites owned by Fortune 500 companies.
In its blog post announcing the updates on its search algorithms, Google explained that in order for websites to be considered mobile friendly, their text have to be readable without users tapping and zooming on them. Furthermore, the tap targets of these websites need to be spaced out properly, at the same time, their pages should not have content that is unplayable or prone to horizontal scrolling (scrolling to the left or to the right). In summary, these websites should be easily viewable and readable from any mobile device.
Google did clarify that the changes to the search algorithms will only influence websites' search ranking mobile devices. Also, the mobile friendly updates should only apply to separate web pages, not to entire websites. Lastly, the updates will only affect searches that are done on smartphones, not on tablets.
As many mobile users may have noticed, it is still fairly common to stumble upon a website from a global brand that has not been optimized properly for viewing on the smaller screens of today's mobile devices. Now these brands may need to incorporate some changes to their websites, or they will risk seeing their Google rankings dip.
No doubt, some these companies are still underestimating (or ignoring) the rapid growth of mobile Internet surfing in the last few years. But numbers do not lie. As estimated by eMarketer, the number of smartphone owners in the world will breach the 2 billion mark by next year. This year, that number is already estimated at about 1.91 billion. In three years, more than a third of all consumers in the planet will be owning smartphones. As the number of smartphone owners balloons, so does the volume of mobile traffic.
And unsurprisingly, Google is in the thick of it. A considerable percentage of mobile Internet surfing involves searching, and it is almost a given that when people search, they are more likely to use Google.
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