Google Algorithm Change Will Favor ‘Mobile-Friendly’ Sites

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. — Google's latest algorithm change, which will favor "mobile-friendly" websites starting April 21, might make it more difficult to find some sites in Google searches.

But Google Webmaster Trends Analyst Gary Illyes said the update will run page by page, and that there is no site-wide penalty.

If a site were to have 20 mobile-friendly pages and 10 pages Google does not deem to be mobile-friendly, the 20 will receive a boost, and the 10 won’t, Illyes noted. The mobile-friendliness, or lack of mobile-friendliness, of a web page will only affect that individual page’s ranking.

The algorithm change shows how important Google sees the mobile market. The search giant said that for the first time mobile traffic eclipsed desktop PC Internet traffic in November.

Google usability studies show that 61 percent of users will move on to another site immediately if they click on a result that is not mobile-friendly.  

Site owners can test site pages here to see if Google has deemed them mobile-friendly.

Columnist Adrian DeGus discusses how to prepare for Google’s algorithm change in XBIZ World’s April edition available here.