Google will now rank mobile-friendly sites higher when a search is performed from a phone


Google Voice Search extension

Here’s a bit of Google Search news you should know about. As we were warned about back in February, Google has flipped the switch on a Google Search algorithm change that will now rank websites that are optimized for mobile devices higher when the search is performed on a smartphone.

It’s a natural step for any search engine in a world that’s become increasingly mobile, though it’s a change that’s sure to be scary for web developers everywhere. It might also be scary for your common user as it could bury a lot of relevant information that the mobile-optimized sites might not have.

mobile friendly tool

There are a few things you should know about the algorithm change:

  • It only affects search on phones. Tablets and desktops will continue to go by the normal algorithm.
  • You can check to see if your website is mobile friendly using Google’s quick tool here. If you see green, you should be good to go.
  • This change only impacts raw search results, so searches that feature video, Google News and other special result types at the top will will not have those result types affected.
  • If the algorithm determines your unoptimized site has higher quality or more relevant content than optimized sites, they may still opt to rank your link higher.

Search Engine Land has a much deeper Q&A for you to check out if you want to know more about the change and everything that’s going on. Your site not mobile friendly? Funnily enough, Google is a good place to start to figure out how you can adapt your site to mobile whenever someone visits from their phone, so be sure to poke around and get going on that as soon as possible if you haven’t already gotten with the program.

Quentyn Kennemer
The "Google Phone" sounded too awesome to pass up, so I bought a G1. The rest is history. And yes, I know my name isn't Wilson.

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  1. Sweet.

  2. I hope that with Chrome’s new abilities and today’s major changes to Google Search (#mobilegeddon) both foster the birth of countless, well designed and functional mobile websites. For far too long have too many mobile websites been horrendous. It’s also quite ironic that many tech related and mobile related sites are in fact horrible on the platforms that they often speak about. Here’s to changes.

    1. That’s a very good point. Many businesses that do good work and provide good products/services have terrible websites (especially for mobile). Then again you’d be shocked how many guys I see in their late 40’s and older who work as renovation contractors that still have flip phones. It’s still 2006 for them. Btw, do hashtags actually help when posted in comments on a site like this? Just wondering.

  3. Sweet their are still to many sites wich are a pain in da ass to read on a phone.

    1. Funny I find it about 50/50 between full sites that show annoying popups that don’t work well on on phone, so you can’t close the popups and mobile sites that are downright useless.

  4. There goes the prime placement for my geocities page…

  5. I hate mobile sites.

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