If you only read one blog post this week, make it this one.  Here's everything you need to know for Mobile SEO:

mobile seo guide

 

 

1) April 21st

We told you last week that we were excited to get a recap of presentations from SMX West.  We were not disappointed.  In a presentation last week, Google’s Gary Ilyes dropped big hints that an impactful change might be coming for Google’s algorithm in regards to mobile friendliness.

 

Here’s what we learned:

  1. Responsive design does not have a ranking benefit.  Although there are some benefits to responsive design, including the fact that you only have to manage one website and one domain, there is no evidence that having a responsive site gives a ranking boost.  As long as you have a mobile friendly version of your website, it does not seem to matter to Google whether that’s responsive or a separate mobile friendly version.

  2. Mobile friendliness is page by page.  Google determines if your site is mobile friendly on a page by page basis, meaning just because your home page is friendly for mobile devices doesn't mean your whole site gets a passing score.  Make sure every page of your mobile site follows mobile SEO best practices including unblocking Javascript and CSS and staying away from Flash.  

  3. April 21st is going to be a very important day.  Although he was not at liberty to say what exactly will happen on April 21st, Ilyes hinted that that day will cause a change for sites who are not mobile friendly.  We’re anticipating that there will be a change in the algorithm that will negatively impact sites without a mobile friendly version.  (The SEM Post)

 

2) Mobile Friendly Label

Google has introduced a label that shows in search results to immediately identify to users whether or not a site is mobile friendly.  

mobile friendly label

 

You should receive this label if you pass Google’s mobile friendly test, available here.  Your site will qualify for the label by using mobile best practices including:

  • Avoids software that is not common on mobile devices, like Flash

  • Uses text that is readable without zooming

  • Sizes content to the screen so users don’t have to scroll horizontally or zoom

  • Places links far enough apart so that the correct one can be easily tapped

 

3) Google Webmaster Tools & XML Sitemaps

If you think you have all your bases covered as far as Mobile SEO, ask yourself if you have a mobile version of both Google Webmaster Tools and an XML Sitemap.  Both are invaluable resources used to alert Google to your mobile site and to diagnose any problems that may happen as a result.  What’s better, Google Webmaster Tools is a great in-house resources to see if your mobile site has any faulty redirects or hidden content that might be working against you.  


Interested in mobile solutions for your website? Contact Visual Data Systems.