A recent study by Opinion Lab, highlights the following impact of consumers using their mobile devices to search for businesses and make purchases:

  • Mobile impacted $1 trillion in retail sales in 2015.
  • In the US, more than 30% of sales will have a mobile cross-channel component.
  • 50% of consumers who conduct a local search on their smartphone visit a brick-and-mortar location within a day
  • 82% of shoppers say they consult their phones on purchases they’re about to make when in a brick-and-mortar location

Google’s response

In the quest to make the web more mobile-friendly, Google rolled out their second algorithm update on May 2, 2016. This update is designed to benefit mobile-friendly websites in Google search results. The results increase the effect of the ranking signal to help users find even more pages that are relevant and mobile-friendly.

According to Google, a website is mobile-friendly if it meets the following conditions:

  • Does not use software that is unusual for smartphones, such as Flash.
  • Text is readable without zooming.
  • Content fits on the screen completely, without the need for the visitor to scroll horizontally.
  • Buttons and links are far enough apart, so that a finger can easily click the correct one.

Testing a Website for Mobile Friendliness

If you are unsure if your website is mobile-friendly or not, then you should use an official Mobile-Friendly testing tool such as the following:

The testing tools also have suggestions for next steps based on the results of the mobile friendliness test.

Questions Regarding Google’s “Mobile Friendly” Algorithm Changes

If you are like every other business owner or website administrator, then you have questions. On April 21, 2016, previous to Google’s 2nd algorithm rollout, Google published a post, FAQs about April 21st mobile friendly updateThis article answers the top 13 questions site administrators, SEO’s and business owners have about the latest mobile-friendly algorithm update.

We selected a few of the questions and answers from the April 21st post:

Will desktop and/or tablet ranking also be affected by this change?  No, this update has no effect on searches from tablets or desktops. It affects searches from mobile devices across all languages and locations.

Is it a page-level or site-level mobile ranking boost? It’s a page-level change. For instance, if ten of your site’s pages are mobile-friendly, but the rest of your pages aren’t, only the ten mobile-friendly pages can be positively impacted.

Will my site / page disappear on mobile search results if it’s not mobile-friendly? While the mobile-friendly change is important, we still use a variety of signals to rank search results. The intent of the search query is still a very strong signal — so even if a page with high quality content is not mobile-friendly, it could still rank high if it has great content for the query.

If your website is not mobile-friendly, the number of visitors coming in from Google will only keep decreasing. This was the case after the first phase of Mobilegeddon, and will only become more evident following their latest algorithm update.

Interested in learning more about mobile trends? Read more from our blog, View from the Charles:
Mobile Search Updates: Why You Need a Mobile Website
5 Tips for Writing for Mobile

Want more information? Get more details on Charles River Interactive’s SEO and PPC service offerings or contact us today.