Google Moves to Prioritize Mobile, Again

Those Googlers never stop moving! The Mountain View Giants are it again, shaking up the world of search with a wave of their hands. This time, they have proceeded in their quest to prioritize mobile content in terms of ranking search pages. They have been preaching mobile-friendliness for quite some time, so this shouldn’t come as a shock.

The gist from this latest Google pivot: If you haven’t already optimized your site for mobile, now would be a great time to do so.

Why Mobile?

You might have noticed over the last few years an increasing amount of your fellow earthlings shuffling around, staring into some sort of handheld screened contraption. You’re not wrong. Mobile now accounts for 65% of all digital media consumption, in addition to nearly 60% of all searches.

In just under a decade we’ve gone from about 400 million mobile users in 2007, to more than 2 billion today. That’s pretty remarkable considering more than 1.2 billion people on earth still live without electricity. But that’s another blog post for another day…

All this to say, mobile’s not going anywhere. It’s going to keep growing in dominant fashion. So you need to make mobile optimization a priority if you plan on your content being visible in the coming years.

How Mobile?

Not sure where to begin? A good place to start is to take Google’s Mobile-Friendly test. And then head over to the Search Console. Do your URLs pass the test?

If you flunked the mobile-friendly tests, don’t despair. There are plenty of ways to make your site more responsive. Try to focus on increasing speed and improving the overall user experience. Those concerns are the driving force behind most of Google’s algorithm shifts.

To avoid being penalized by the mobile-friendly shift, you’ll want to reconsider things like intrusive interstitials, slow-loading images, or pop-up ads. Google expounds more on what kinds of pop-ups are acceptable here — such as those used for cookies or age verification — but most others may be held against you in the near future.

So be careful with those website intro videos, auto-play banners, and ‘Wanna sign-up for my newsletter???!!!’ pop-ups. Take a skeptical eye to anything that might hinder the accessibility of your main content.

When Mobile?  

Don’t freak out if you are still plodding along with a desktop-centric approach. Or maybe do. Google says these mobile-favoring changes will take a few months to roll out, so you probably have a bit of time to get your web house in order.

But the reality is that your mobile presence will soon be the primary way Google indexes and ranks you on the web. How will that affect your search rankings?

Ready or not, the mobile-first freight train is coming. There’s no stopping it, so you’d better be prepared to make mobile a priority today!