Mobile SEO: Google is releasing new ranking factors

As the number of smartphone users continues to grow, Google plans to roll out new ranking changes targeting website not optimized for mobile devices. Some of the common issues that you might be penalized for include faulty redirects (i.e. when a desktop page redirects a mobile visitor to an irrelevant page on the mobile-optimized website), or webpage that includes content not available for mobile. This update will most likely affect North American websites first, and Europe after.

Companies that haven’t embraced the mobile trend and optimized their website are in for a wakeup call if they want to stay competitive and not lose the hard work on their SEO. So how to optimize a website for it to be mobile friendly? Several options are available:

  1. Responsive website
    This setup adapts the display of the content to the resolution of the device used to access the website. This is Google’s recommended configuration as it tends to provide the most consistent user experience.
     
  2. Dynamic HTML serving
    Different HTML and CSS are served dynamically depending on the device used to access the website
     
  3. Separate URLs
    Create an alternative version of the website on a separate mobile URL (often symbolized by the m. at the beginning of the URL, e.g. m.example.com)

Don’t forget to test your website extensively to make sure it is compatible with the ever increasing number of devices and operating systems out there.

Read more about the changes from Google on Google Webmaster Central Blog.

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