Last week, in my post Are You Ready for the Google Mobile Friendly Algorithm?, I shared resources about Google’s announcement that on April 21st, they plan on including mobile responsiveness as a ranking signal. This week, let’s take a closer look at what Google is really trying to achieve here and that is to focus on UX (user experience).
Well, (as I’m sure you know), once Google stated that this change “will have a significant impact in our search results”, the blogosphere went abuzz. Understandably, that sent a lot of us to test our sites using Google’s Mobile Friendly Test. People who were confident that their website looked great on mobile devices suddenly questioned whether they really were.
Friendly? Or Not Friendly?
People have been questioning the accuracy of the mobile friendly test results and comparing them to the results of the “Mobile Usability” feature in Google Webmaster Tools. Of course, once questions were raised that there may be flaws in how Google was determining whether or not our websites are mobile-friendly, I went in search of answers (which in turn led to more questions). I ended up updating my last post to include this:
Google’s #MobileMadness Campaign:
What is #MobileMadness? Mobile-Madness is Google’s month-long campaign to “help you prepare for this big change!” On March 25th, Google’s Webmaster team held what was to be a 30-minutes Q&A session. That session ran for one hour (well, 59:20 to be exact). Honestly – I have not watched it in its entirety. For those of you who want to check it out, here it is:
If you prefer reading an article that highlights this (hour-long) Q&A session, you can check out 5 Takeaways from Google Webmaster Q&A on Mobile-Friendly Ranking Signal by Deborah Edwards-Onoro (on Lireo.com). For those of you who just want the bullet-points:
- This algorithm update is expected to take a few days to roll-out.
- This update will only affect mobile searches.
- Google’s intention is to create good user experiences (UX).
- Mobile-friendliness will be gauged on a page-by-page basis.
- Results from checking your site using Google Webmaster Tools “Mobile Usability” feature and using Google’s “Mobile-Friendly” test may differ.
Note: If you’re getting differing results, you can post to the mobile websites section of the Webmaster Central Help forum.)
Google Friendliness – Yes/No:
One more thing . . . in his post Google’s Mobile Friendly Algorithm Is On Or Off: No Degrees Of Mobile Friendliness (on SearchEngineRoundTable.com), Barry Schwartz pointed out that in the Google Webmaster Q&A (at the 47:10 mark) Mary and Michael (from the Webmaster “relations” team) were asked:
. . . and Mary’s answer was:
From there, they go on to explain that the focus is on UX (User Experience) in general.
And the “Beat Goes On”:
My two cents on the topic of mobile-friendliness and whether or not Google’s tests are accurate and what we need to be doing to make our sites responsive, is that we can drive ourselves crazy with all this. Bottom-line, we need our clients/customers to have an enjoyable experience on our sites regardless of how they’re accessing them. I know that my WordPress theme is outdated and not responsive. So, it’s a better use of my time to move to a responsive theme and not try to dance around Google’s tests.
Over to You:
What are you doing? Are you happy with the mobile-friendliness of your site? Did you receive a warning in your Google Webmaster Tools or receive an email alert from them that your site is not mobile-friendly? Did your site pass the mobile-friendly test but in your gut, do you think you could provide a better UX? (The first time I saw that acronym used, I had no idea what they were talking about!)
Are you ready to move on? Did you hear that Google is planning to index our Tweets in real-time?
Well, I’m not just going to tease you with that one. In my effort to post more frequently (and write fewer in-depth #FridayFinds), I still have the urge to share interesting posts with you. So, I’m not going to bullet-point the answer to that question but I will direct you to Eric Enge’s article Google Plans to Index Tweets in Real Time: How This Could Impact Your SEO on HubSpot.com. This could be something to keep an eye on. Have a great weekend everyone and I hope you have an awesome week ahead of you.