Google is updating its algorithms to ensure that sites that work well on mobile devices are treated more favorably. Websites that fail to pass the search giant’s test are to be penalized with lower rankings. The changes are likely to have a negative impact on pages run by organizations including the European Union and Wikipedia.
The company’s Mobile Friendly Test will affect search results from April 21. Criteria used to decide whether a page is optimized efficiently for mobile include whether content fits on a screen, as well as text size. The company has said that mobile friendliness will be just one factor used to rank results, but has admitted that it will have a “significant impact” on them.
A Google representative said: “As people increasingly search on their mobile devices, we want to make sure they can find content that’s not only relevant and timely, but also easy to read and interact with on smaller mobile screens”.
The company is providing developer tools to help websites become compliant with its expectations. Google has clashed with the European Union recently after a complaint about anti-competitive behavior was filed. The company has been accused of giving its own services unfair prominence over its rivals.