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Posted by Robert Somers

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New rank checking tool shows Mobilegeddon’s impact

Mobile websites a ranking signal by Google

DESPITE three months of warnings from Google, more than a third of Australian websites are not ready for next week’s Mobilegeddon algorithm update.

The figures were revealed using the free search rank checking tool, Mobilegeddon Report.

It showed 42% of the 300 websites surveyed were currently being punished for poor Smartphone usability, while just 17% had better rankings on mobile and 41% returned relatively the same results for both desktop and mobile.

And websites that are dropping the ball will be punished even more heavily from April 21 – when Google starts using mobile-friendliness as a major search signal.

If there are so many losers when it comes to mobile rankings, then who are the winners?

Put simply, few webmasters have taken mobile optimisation seriously, and they are taking more than their share of the top rankings.

The free rank checker allows you to enter up to five keywords to instantly see where your website ranks on both mobile and desktop searches.

For example, leading Australian fashion store Just Jeans ranks in the top 10 on desktop for the keywords “mens jeans” and “womens jeans”, but slips well down the search page for Smartphone results.

Just Jeans mobile site screenshot

MORE: Google Searches With ‘Near Me’ Up 3300%

ROI.com.au’s chief technology officer Sean O’Neill said there were three factors which contributed to poor website usability on Smartphones.

The first problem to check for is the speed of the mobile website.

“The most common reasons include massive images on your website, badly coded websites or having an inferior hosting server,” O’Neill said.

“Many people chose to low-cost hosting servers when mobile sites were a new thing. But they are simply no longer up to standard.”

MORE: Mobilegeddon: Your questions answered

Secondly, duplicate content is heavily penalised by Google and should be removed.

“Duplicate content is the same information that appears in more than one place (URL).

“So if Google thinks your website is confusing to people and it is not clear where users should go to find your content, then it is not going to rank your website.”

The third, and most obvious contributing factor, is having no mobile-optimised site at all.

“All new websites are designed to be mobile-friendly nowadays. So those who don’t have mobile websites will only fall further behind in years to come.”

Webmasters unsure of whether their site is mobile-friendly should use Google’s PageSpeed Insights test for a full rundown on issues that affect its search rankings.

Mobilegeddon is just days away, so making your site mobile-friendly should be a top priority now — not later.

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