Mobilegeddon came and went on April 21st, 2015, when Google began ranking mobile-friendly sites higher in searches. This move also makes Google an Android app search engine. Smart developers for iOS apps for Apple products are getting ready for when Google begins searching these apps, too. No date for Apple apps searching has been announced. Sites that are not mobile-friendly will also show up in Google searches, but much further down their list and probably many pages later.
Bing.com is also making changes, but in a slightly different manner; their changes are being rolled out over the next few months. Read the details on search criteria on their blog. They write:
Our approach to mobile friendliness as a ranking signal balances the need to improve the ranking for mobile-friendly pages, with the continued focus on delivering the most relevant results for a given query. This means that for mobile searches on Bing, you can always expect to see the most relevant results for a search query ranked higher, even if some of them are not mobile-friendly.
All top searches appear on Bing’s first page with mobile-friendly sites identified with an arrow.
In this post, I’m focusing mainly on Google searches with a dash of Bing mixed in. Continue reading on how Mobilegeddon impacts searchers, bloggers, and developers.
Mobilegeddon and Its Impact on Searchers
Google (and Bing) now rank mobile-friendly search results higher. If you’re one of the 60% who search from your mobile device, you’ll like the ease in entering a search and the hassle-free results returned. Your top search results may take you to content found in a mobile app that you currently have or that you might be interested in downloading (Google includes an install button in the search results). After clicking on a top search result, reading, scrolling, and zooming will be intuitive for your device. Google checks so no pop-ups will annoy you and Bing makes sure videos are playable on your mobile device.
Because Google searches apps, if you’re signed into Google on your phone and have apps installed, Google will return results from your apps’ content more prominently than other search results. The top apps (AlltheCooks, Goodreads, Zagat, Zillow, …) are aware of Google’s changes and will show up in your searches. Other apps may not (until their developers make the needed changes).
This Google video will show you how searching on a mobile device will be a smoother experience for you (watch from 30 seconds to 2:30).
Mobilegeddon and Its Impact on Bloggers
Mobile matters to bloggers more than ever. Bing searches don’t penalize your blog in search results as Google does, but for both search engines, sites should:
- be compatible with mobile devices,
- be easily navigable by touch,
- be readable with zooming,
- not scroll horizontally,
- not have pop-ups.
Use Google’s free online tool to see how your blog tests for mobile-friendliness. If your blog doesn’t check out as mobile friendly, update your blog’s theme. Don’t put this off any longer; now’s a good time to take care of this. If you don’t know what mobile friendly is, Bing’s article on mobile-friendly searches explains it very clearly for you.
Mobilegeddon and Its Impact on Developers
Make sure your web sites and any Android apps are mobile-friendly. Your fabulous app you developed in the last year or two may not be set up for indexing and won’t have high search ranks. Watch this video from Google and see related articles below for help.
Google’s Webmaster Central blog is a good place to start with links to help understand their criteria for mobile-friendly and also what’s needed for an app to be set up for Google’s app-indexing.
According to the Search Agents article, if your app doesn’t have corresponding web pages, you can still have deep indexing for your app.
Bing will have a tool ready soon to help you analyze and understand your site’s mobile-friendliness (or not). For now, I recommend reading their post, Our approach to mobile-friendly search.
- Google Gives Mobile-Friendly Sites a Boost in Search Ranking (Business News Daily)
- Bing Follows Google with Its Own “Mobile-Friendly” Ranking Algorithm Change (Tech Crunch)
- Are App Installs Google’s Next Mobilegeddon Move? (The Search Agents)
- Introduction to App-Indexing (Google Developers from Google.com)
- Making Your App Content Searchable by Google (Android Developers)
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