June 8, 2016 — By Dale Mugford
It’s been a little over a year since the great ‘mobilegeddon’ of 2015, when Google first introduced mobile-friendly scoring to search ranking. With search traffic on smartphones skyrocketing, it had become clear that sites which tailored their experience to mobile visitors deserved greater visibility. Those that offer poor mobile experiences would suffer.
Over the course of the past year Google’s search engineers have continued to refine their mobile-friendly weighting, culminating in the roll-out last month of the first major update to their mobile search ranking algorithms.
Although great quality, relevant content can still ensure good search ranking, with an ever greater adoption of mobile search, the pressure is on for sites to provide a mobile-friendly experience.
Industry blog Search Engine Watch identified some of the major winners and losers of this update in a recent post:
Instructables.com plummeted in mobile search results, with mobile visibility dropping by 75%.
Moveflat.com, already suffering poor mobile visibility dropped by a further 41%
Hipmunk.com, fell victim to poor handling of Google’s robots, losing a third of their mobile exposure.
Boardgamegeek.com saw a 73% gain in mobile visibility
Brainpop.com gained 44% mobile visibility, reversing an earlier downward trend
Reuters.com improved mobile visibility by 41%, breaking out of another slump.
What does this mean for you?
As Search Engine Watch notes, better ranking in mobile search, combined with positive user signals such as long engagement time and low bounce rates, will contribute to overall improved ranking across devices.
Although responsive themes promise to adjust their display to fit all device sizes, many site owners find that they require too many compromises and lead to large, slow pages on mobile devices.
WPtouch and WPtouch Pro are recommended by Google for WordPress websites looking to provide a rich, mobile-friendly experience.
You can check your site’s mobile-friendly status using Google’s handy test tool and through their Webmaster Tool’s console and–when you’re ready to make your WordPress website mobile-friendly–download our free mobile-friendly guide and get started with one of convenient license options.