Survey Looks At Sites' Readiness For Google's Mobile-Friendly Signal

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Google is about to launch its previously announced mobile-friendly ranking signal on April 21. gShift has released some new survey findings about industry sentiment and readiness for the update. It finds that digital marketers have mixed views on whether or not it will impact their business.

They surveyed 275 digital marketers across the retail, travel, and automotive industries. It's a limited sample, but big enough to acknowledge, I think. Over 65% of participants were senior level decision-makers.

Over half (52%) believe their business will be affected by the update, but 20% said it won't impact their business. 28% said they were unsure.

More than 65% answered "affirmatively" to the question, “Is your company factoring in mobile strategies for SEO and content marketing in order to accommodate mobile search since learning about this change from Google?” At the same time, 20% said they are going to wait and see.

It's worth noting that Google has indicated that the mobile-friendly ranking signal will run in real time, and will run on a page-by-page basis. In other words, if only some of your site is mobile-friendly, the parts that aren’t won’t necessarily hurt the entirety of your site. Also, as soon as you make a page mobile-friendly, that will be reflected in Google’s algorithm.

On the other hand, Google is also currently being called out for giving webmasters contradicting information about this kind of things, so who knows what to believe?

35% of the survey's participants said mobile makes up between 11-50%of their website traffic.

In response to the question, “Do you think your website is currently mobile friendly?” over 68% answered yes. About half said they don't use any tools to track their keyword rankings on desktop versus mobile.

gShift also put out this infographic:

If your site isn’t mobile-friendly yet, and you haven’t gotten started looking into how to improve it, you can start here for a look at what Google specifically tells webmasters to do. The article will point you to all the necessary links for Google’s own documentation.

Google also has this hour-long Q&A session on the topic available:

Google also recently named some specific things to avoid for a mobile-friendly site. These include: blocked JavaScript, CSS and image files; unplayable content; faulty redirects; mobile-only 404s; app download interstitials; irrelevant cross-links; and slow mobile pages.

And in case you missed it, Bing also looks to mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal, so if you prepare for Google's algorithm change, it's bound to help you in Microsoft's search engine as well.

Images via gShift

Chris Crum
Chris Crum has been a part of the WebProNews team and the iEntry Network of B2B Publications since 2003. Follow Chris on Twitter, on StumbleUpon, on Pinterest and/or on Google: +Chris Crum.