Search engine giant, Google has announced two big changes for users accessing its search service on mobile devices. The two notable changes, according to TechCrunch, will affect rankings of search results for users who use their mobile devices to access Google search.
What this means is that it will now consider a site’s mobile-friendliness as one of its ranking signals, and information from indexed mobile applications to start influencing ranking for users who have signed in, and who have the app installed on the smartphone.
“When it comes to search on mobile devices, users should get the most relevant and timely results, no matter if the information lives on mobile-friendly web pages or apps. As more people use mobile devices to access the internet, our algorithms have to adapt to these usage patterns. In the past, we’ve made updates to ensure a site is configured properly and viewable on modern devices. We’ve made it easier for users to find mobile-friendly web pages and we’ve introduced App Indexing to surface useful content from apps. Today, we’re announcing two important changes to help users discover more mobile-friendly content.”
Google has made several efforts in the past to improve its search results for mobile users. It added some ranking changes that would affect sites that were misconfigured for smartphone users in 2013. The changes included those frustrating situations where a specific URL would redirect all smartphone users to the site’s mobile homepage rather than their preferred destination. This was a problem more prevalent among new sites.
Recall that Google had in 2014, started flagging off site, which it deemed not mobile-friendly to its search. These sites used technology that prevented them from being displayed on iOS devices or Android 4.1 and higher. Google then went a step further towards the end of 2014 to start adding a “mobile-friendly” label to its search results accessed on mobile devices by users in order to indicate they would display well on smartphone’s small screen.
Starting from April 21, Google will extend its use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal to all languages worldwide; this according to the search engine giant will have a “significant impact” on search results.
“Starting April 21, we will be expanding our use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal. This change will affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide and will have a significant impact in our search results. Consequently, users will find it easier to get relevant, high quality search results that are optimized for their devices,” Google said.