Smartphone users may soon see a different set of search results when they type a term into Google. The search engine giant is transforming its coveted ranking algorithm to reward sites with mobile compatibility when people search for information on their smartphones. The more compatible the site is, the higher it will rank amongst its competition.
Google’s ranking system has always been designed with the user in mind. Google strives to update and innovate its search engine to showcase websites, blogs and webpages that offer the most value to the user. In this case, having a website design that is mobile compatible ensures that customers can view the site easily on their phones. This improves the customer’s overall experience, and Google is seeking to reward that.
Web designers can test the “mobile friendliness” of their sites through the Mobile-Friendly Test from Google Developers. Simply enter the URL of the website, and Google will assess how the site shows up on a phone, tablet or other mobile device. If site supports dynamic design (it adjusts for small displays on mobile devices), the test will say, “Awesome! This page is mobile-friendly.” It will also show “How Googlebot sees this page,” along with a screen cap of what the website looks like on a smartphone.
The drawback to the new ranking is that outdated sites with great information may be pushed to the backburner because they are not “mobile friendly.” However, most smartphone users will click out of these sites since they are likely hard to read, navigate through, or see on their small screens. Most quality websites have begun switching over their designs to a mobile platform, and those sites are now being rewarded.