SEO style mobile-friendly: FAQ on the ranking factor

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On April 21st, Google officially began to take the compatibility with mobile devices into account as one of the ranking factors of the site in the mobile search. What does this mean for the site’s owners and webmasters? We have prepared a small FAQ on the topic for the column «SEO-environment”.

What kind of devices are we talking about?

In some reports, Google relates tablets to mobile devices, in the other – no. In announcing of the expansion value of the mobile compatibility factor and doesn’t indicate whether it will affect the search on the tablets. Probably, it’s only about smartphones. Even checking of the easy viewing of the site on mobile devices from Google “sharpened” on smartphones.

Does the mobile compatibility factor impact on my site?

Most likely, yes. The share of mobile search on the Web is growing. In December 2014, the share of mobile search amounted increased by more than 150% over six months.

Check the traffic from mobile devices on your website, you can by using Webmaster Tools (traffic – queries – Filter “search: mobile”).


What are the characteristics of mobile search?

1. “Localization” in the first place. Everything related to geo-referenced is important.
2. It’s worth nothing that on the smartphone user without scrolling will only see the first 2-3 position of the issuance.
3. Again, because of the smartphone window size the number of characters in title or site description is necessary. The whole structure of the content should be designed for ease reading on devices with a 4,7-5,5 inches diagonal.
4. The optimization for voice calls is also important. The latter is usually longer than the written ones and formulated in the form of standard questions.
5. Those who go into mobile search, have not enough time for online surfing. So it’s super important to set up a quality site search and provide a high speed of pages loading.

The website is not optimized for mobile devices. Is there a reason to panic?


Let’s find out from an SEO-expert Daniel Barker.

If smaller sites now rush to install plug-ins to adapt their site to mobile, they run the risk of losing more than those who don’t do anything. Six weeks – a rather short period to change everything. What we should do – it’s to look at the different realizations of mobile-first strategy and start planning changes.

What we can say for sure:

– No one will talk about the real weight of the new ranking factor until April 21st.
In its announcement, Google said that the increases the value of mobile compatibility as a ranking factor. That means it’s not some new criteria.
– Home of the site is far more popular among users of mobile search. After April 21st the position of the main pages will hardly decrease, not even optimized for mobile devices. They are also would be found by the brand queries.
– The effect from the optimization factor for mobile devices rather will affect the new visitors than those who at least once visited the resource.

How to prepare for the introduction of a mobile optimization factor?

First of all, you need to choose how the resource will be adapted for mobile devices. There are several options with one or more different codes.

Adaptive design. Allows you to adjust the current content and layout to fit the screen, for example, hiding unnecessary blocks or changing their size. HTML-code remains the same, which means that the volume does not vary for different data transmission devices. It should be considered during designing.


Dynamic server responses. Dynamic Server allows the user to provide a different HTML and CSS according to the User Agent (the parameter that determines for which device the page is loading) for the same URL. It allows to change the amount of data transferred, but there is a nuance: you need to keep the topical list of User-Agent.

Mobile (subdomain m.). A private mobile version of the site is fully implemented on another URL, and can be mostly optimized for mobile devices and navigation in them. In this case, it is important to configure the processing of individual URL correctly. If you don’t do this, then for each page of the fundamental version of the site would be a doppelganger on the mobile version of the site.

Once the choice is made, it is worth remembering all the recommendations of the search engines for this case and put them on the site. For example, Google has an excellent guide on the subject. Extended error information displayed in panels webmaster. It is useful to look at what kind of strategy relatively to mobile chosen the competitors.

What is in the end?
The proportion of mobile search in the whole become more and more every day. One thing remains the same: E-commerce players understand optimization for mobile devices like something very minor.

What’ve changed after April 21? Please share your points in the comments.

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