What You Need to Know About Google's May 2016 Mobile Responsive Search Algorithm Update

April 26, 2016 Kayla Marginean 2 Comment

Starting in May of this year, if you do not have a mobile responsive website, your site’s search rankings on Google will be even lower than before.

What You Need to Know

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In April of 2015, Google introduced its first iteration of the algorithm update, which ranked mobile responsive web sites higher in its search rankings. The rationale for this change was to increase the quality of the search engine by returning sites that provided a superior user experience for mobile users. This makes sense, because mobile has quickly overtaken desktop as the primary means of web browsing. In 2014, 60% of online traffic was from mobile devices, and that number has continued to rise. As a result, more Google searches now take place on mobile devices.

This May, Google is going to double down again, increasing the importance of mobile responsiveness in overall search rankings. Google intends to push more people who publish web sites to go ahead and make the switch to a mobile responsive design. After May, sites that are not mobile responsive will rank even lower than before.

What You Can Do

First, if you have not made the switch to a mobile responsive website, the time to do so is now! Yes, change is uncomfortable and transitions are always hard, but there is no turning back. The mobile ship has sailed; consumers have made their choice. They want to look at your site on their mobile phones - and you must make it enjoyable for them to do so. For their benefit...and for yours!Want to learn more? Check out our comprehensive eGuide: Mobile Responsiveness  for the Mobile Marketplace.

If you do have a mobile responsive site already, take a bit of time to run your site through a couple of Google’s free testing tools. These tools can ensure that your site is fast and friendly for mobile users, and perhaps suggest some areas for improvement.

Also, check out some additional resources that can help you stay up-to-date as you keep up with the trends:

A Look Ahead

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According to Tech Crunch, speed has become increasingly important to Google as an indicator of site experience and usability. Google does not yet factor speed into its overall search rankings, but this change may lie on the horizon in future algorithm updates. If you want to get ahead of the curve, learn more about AMP and how you can improve the speed of your site.