Online Education - Google Algorithm Update for Mobile Friendliness
If you run a website for higher education, online courses, corporate training or e-learning, there is now an even more compelling reason to make the site mobile friendly than just the growth in mobile access. Google is updating its search algorithms to ensure users find more mobile-friendly search results. Historically, Google has compensated for content that was not mobile-friendly, now it will give greater prominence to mobile friendly content.
As Google says, 'Starting April 21, we will be expanding our use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal'. The change will be global, affect all mobile searches and Google anticipates a significant impact on search results.
The solution is to ensure your online education site is optimised for mobile devices, which can be achieved by using a responsive site design and optimising to allow rapid loading over mobile networks. However, the migration is not trivial, as past design decisions may have 'hard-coded' many elements of the site to work best with a desktop display.
To see if you pass or fail Google's basic level of mobile friendliness run some of your webpages through the Mobile-Friendly Test tool.
Full details of the algorithm change and Google's expansion of its search to cover content in mobile applications go to the Google Webmaster Central Blog. And, we continue to recommend having both a Google Webmaster Tools and Bing Webmaster Tools accounts, to aid in testing and diagnosing the impacts of search engine changes.