Google Search
This morning, Google announced that they would be making changes to the way that websites would be ranked in searches performed on mobile devices.

With any change to Googel’s search algorithim, there’s always going to be some fears, and we’ve already seen a number of ‘Mobilegeddon’ posts floating around pointing at the changes, but there’s quite a few plus sides to the changes that Google has put in place. Lisa Bora, Head of Mobile, Google Australia has posted on the Google Australia blog talking about the changes and how they will affect Australians and their mobile searches.

To start with, there’s a few misconceptions that have been raised and Google would like to clear the air.

  • Firstly, mobile-friendliness is just one of 200 signals that we use to determine the ranking of results.
  • Sites that aren’t as mobile-friendly as they could be won’t disappear. In fact, they may still rank highly if they contain great content that people really want.
  • And again, just to be really clear, this is just for mobile results.

Australians have jumped into mobile technology in a big way, there’s more than 30 million mobile phones currently in use in Australia according to research gathered in 2012 by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) and that’s not taking into account tablets which Australians love almost as much. So having a good web surfing experience on a mobile device is important to Australians and Google.

There’s a lot of bad websites out there which are hard to navigate with tiny touch intents, small fonts and just plain bad design.

Research has shown that 74% of users will visit a site with a well designed mobile site repeatedly, so for businesses the message is clear – customers want a good mobile experience and that’s what Google is attempting to do with this latest change.

But it’s not just change without help. Google WANTS to help webmasters and businesses to create a great mobile experience. There’s a simple check that webmasters can use to see how ‘Mobile-friendly’ individual pages on their site are, or a Mobile Usability report in the Google webmaster tools to check the entire site.

If your site isn’t mobile friendly there are a lot of options and Google can help. There’s over 5,000 Google certified web experts available to help you bring your site up to speed, or if you’re on a tight budget, you can check out some settings to help you do it yourself.

Changes to mobile search which promote sites with mobile-friendly interfaces isn’t a bad thing – it’s Great. Customers and readers respond to a good mobile design, so check out what your site is doing, make the changes required and see the benefits.

Source: Google.
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    Mobile sites are fine, until they aren’t – eg reduced feature set. To point the finger – ausdroid itself has the following mobile problems: – search is missing in the mobile version – I was looking for a specific product review with no way to find it. – worse it doesn’t honor ‘request desktop site’ (Firefox on N7 2012) – maybe there’s a link at the bottom of the page to go non-mobile. However the abomination of infinite scrolling means there’s no way to find out. Perhaps after 30-odd articles a tick box to opt out of infinite scroll would… Read more »


    Personally, I would prefer non-mobile friendly, than badly done mobile friendly. Some sites are absolutely horrible in their quest to be mobile friendly, and more often than not I find myself forcing it back into desktop mode just so I can do some simple tasks. The main one I remember was Bankwest’s old mobile website, which I turned to after its equally awful first attempt at an app would fail.