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Is your web site mobile or responsive? If it isn’t, you might want to consider upgrading now – because on April 21, sites that are not mobile-friendly or responsive will take a hit in SEO rankings through Google’s mobile search results. New data suggests that more than 70 percent of Americans own a smartphone or web-enabled mobile device. Most of these people use their phones to search information on the go. It is important to have a mobile and tablet-friendly website for so many reasons – and this new ranking push by Google is yet another reason to Screen Shot 2015-03-18 at 11.35.12 AMmove forward and update to a mobile-friendly platform.

Google Announcing New SEO Algorithm

SEO experts say that Google’s recently announced algorithm updates that will have a “significant impact” on mobile search results. This update will affect mobile smartphone and tablet users worldwide. The update improves the search engine optimization rankings for sites that provide a mobile-friendly experience for people on mobile devices. With that favor shown to mobile-friendly sites, there also comes a demotion in rankings to those sites that are not mobile-friendly or responsive.  These changes only affect the organic search engine optimization rankings of mobile search results, such as those on smartphones and tablets. Desktop or laptop computer SEO rankings will not be affected by this change. But considering the vast number of people who use Google on their mobile devices, this will create a significant impact on SEO rankings. Consider this scenario: a person is searching for pizza takeout near their hotel. They whip out their iPhone and Google “pizza takeout”. Franco’s Pizza and Geno’s Pizza are both within a few miles, but Franco’s web site is not mobile-optimized. So it doesn’t even rank on the first page. Geno’s has a site that is responsive and mobile-optimized, so it shows up on page one. Which pizza place do you think a busy person will choose?

Worldwide Changes to Mobile SEO Rankings

According to Google, the new algorithm is applied worldwide, page by page and on a real-time basis. “Worldwide” means that the algorithm update will affect mobile searchers and search results in all countries, at the same time. Typically, Google algorithm rolls out in the U.S. first. mobile-seo-ranking-changesThe term “page by page” means that each page’s mobile friendliness will judged separately. This is good news for sites such as ecommerce catalogs that are mobile-friendly, but still have some sections that are not mobile-ready. The important thing to remember that at least a portion of your site, and especially the homepage, is mobile friendly. This will ensure your site can secure great mobile SEO rankings without an entirely mobile-optimized site.  The term “real time” means that the mobile ranking benefit of making your site mobile friendly will be seen right away. After April 21, the next time Googlebot crawls your pages and determines that they are newly mobile-friendly, the mobile-friendly ranking algorithm will kick in for those pages. This is really good news for online businesses, because some algorithm updates have been processed on a monthly or unknown scheduled time cycle and applied to the algorithm in batches.

Android Apps Index: SEO App Ranking

Another piece of the new mobile SEO ranking update: Content from indexed Android apps can now be ranked in search results for users who are signed in to Google and have that specific Android app installed on their mobile device. Google will have no access to Apple’s iTunes database, so iOS apps would not be included in this app-ranking improvement.

If your business wants to make the most of its online presence, develop a mobile-friendly web site and rank higher online, finding the right search engine optimization company is key. Noxster is a Los Angeles-based SEO consulting firm that represents clients around the world, helping them stay on top of SEO trends and at the top of the search engines.  To learn more about the search engine optimization services and mobile site development offered at Noxster, visit their web site.