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Google is always working to return the most relevant results to users based on their search queries. We know that among other things, Google also considers User Experience in its ranking algorithms, helping websites with great engagement to out-perform those that send negative signals, such as high bounce rates.

Google’s mobile-friendly update

Last year, Google announced that it would be taking this to the next level, giving websites that were considered ‘mobile friendly’ a ranking boost in the mobile search results that could see them appear ahead of non mobile-friendly pages for relevant searches.

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Google said that the update would have a greater impact than both Panda and Penguin, so gave us plenty of time to prepare for this update, urging websites to make the necessary updates. However, when ‘Mobile-geddon’ finally hit, people were underwhelmed by the updates, with many seeing no significant changes.

On March 16th, Google announced that at the start of May, an update to the mobile-friendly searches will be rolled out that “increases the effect of the ranking signal” to give mobile-friendly pages a bigger boost in the mobile search results.

Google also stated that “If you’ve already made your site mobile-friendly, you will not be impacted by this update”, which suggests that rather than mobile-friendly pages being given more power to rank, pages that are not mobile-friendly will be pushed down in the mobile search results.

Common mobile-friendly issues

There are a number of common issues that webmasters make when building websites:

  • Blocked JavaScript, CSS, and image files
  • Unplayable content
  • Faulty redirects
  • Smartphone-only 404 errors
  • Showing interstitials or overlays
  • Links pointing to an irrelevant page
  • Slow mobile pages
  • Incorrect viewport size
  • Small font size
  • Touch elements too close

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Check if your website is mobile-friendly

You can check whether Google considers your website as mobile friendly in a WooRank review. The Mobile Friendliness section will check the usability aspects of your mobile website such as the mobile rendering, compatibility, viewport, and speed as well as the touchscreen readiness, the frameworks and the font size legibility. You can also check Google mobile guidelines here.

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