Google’s new algorithm update has left webmasters and site administrators worldwide scrambling to determine whether their sites meet the new responsive design requirements before the stated April 21st deadline. Google has indicated that mobile-friendly sites will receive a higher priority in search rankings because users are accessing more websites from smart phones and tablets. The new algorithm also prioritizes mobile-based apps based on which app a user accesses the web through.

What is The Criteria For the New Algorithm?

Google projects that the new algorithm’s impact on search results conducted from a traditional PC or laptop will vary greatly from those presented on a mobile device. This is largely because the new algorithm will detect the kind of device a user is surfing with and present results ranked not only by traditional signals such as search engine optimization and site authority, but how the site interacts with various mobile devices. The idea is to present mobile users with sites that work with their mobile devices first and foremost, without sacrificing the other markers that indicate site relevance and authority.

Additionally, the new search engine parameters incorporate the usual usages, such as whether the site is properly functioning and accessible, the timeliness and relevance of information, whether the site is configured correctly and can be accessed using the latest technology. It will also prioritize certain web access applications so app users can find other sites which are compatible with a given app.

More About Apps

If your website is accessible through an app, Google’s new algorithm will detect this. Using indexed application monitoring, the search engine algorithm is set up to present sites based on the usual site indexing criteria above, but also offer priority to other sites which use the same app the user surfs through. According to Google, this change has already taken effect, although the full algorithm roll-out will not occur until April 21st.

How Does This Affect My Site?

If Google’s new algorithm finds that your site is properly optimized for mobile-friendly use, this will probably not affect your rankings significantly. You may notice a slight rise or fall in your ranking on mobile devices depending on how Google rates other sites around your own, but this will be relatively negligible in most cases where the primary criteria are met. Also, these changes are predicted to only affect users of mobile devices, meaning that anyone using a conventional PC or laptop should notice no difference at all. However, if your site is not optimized for cross-platform usage or ignores mobile users altogether, the drop in rankings could be huge. Sites with mobile-friendly optimization will receive precedence in mobile search engine rankings, edging your site out and reducing or eliminating the chances of mobile users finding your company.

With the new Google algorithm less than a month away from being deployed, webmasters should examine their sites as soon as possible to ensure compliance. If your site does not meet the requirements, has a dedicated team of responsive design professionals who can not only correct the problem but help make your site more flexible and user-friendly to a broader range of devices. us Mathews can perform a quick analysis of your website to ensure it is search engine friendly, or you can have Jenn rework your existing WordPress Website, or create a new one for you in just a few short weeks, getting your site ready for the update on April 21st.

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About the Author: Jennifer Mathews