After this announcement on February 26, everyone is gearing up for the upcoming mobile algorithm that is supposedly going to be even bigger than Panda or Penguin. Yikes.

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For digital marketers, SEOers, developers, anyone with a website that cares about their search engine visibility; there is only one date that is going to matter in the upcoming month – April 21:

“Starting April 21, we will be expanding our use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal. This change will affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide and will have a significant impact in our search results. Consequently, users will find it easier to get relevant, high quality search results that are optimized for their devices.” – Takaki Makino, Chaesang Jung, Doantam Phan from WCB

So where do you start?

Make sure that your site is set up to be mobile friendly. Best practices for mobile friendly configurations include:

For a breakdown of the pros and cons of the different mobile site configurations, check out this table from Moz.

Once its set up, you can manually check any any particular pages of your site that you may be worried about being mobile friendly with Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test. For those with a Webmaster Tools account, you can get a full overview of your site’s mobile usability from the handy Mobile Usability Report.

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Recently, Google has also suggested webmasters add autocomplete markups to their websites, to make form filling faster, easier and smarter. Whilst this suggestion hasn’t been mentioned in relation to the upcoming mobile algorithm rollout, it doesn’t hurt to implement it for the sake of increasing usability for your users.

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It’ll be interesting to see how the mobile search results will change post April 21st, as well as how businesses will be affected as more and more users are turning to mobiles and tablets for surfing the web. So get started quick, and see you on the other side of April 21!


Scott Shorter in an Australian SEO specialist with 20 years of experience. A recognized industry expert, he has been a guest speaker for the Advertising Council of Australia, Engineering Institute of Technology, WA Leaders association as an industry expert and Edith Cowan University, from which he graduated with a B.Comms – BSc (M) Multimedia & Internet Computing.

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