Google already made it clear they were going to start using mobile signals as a part of ranking. However, this hadn't been rolled out until recently with the mobile-friendly update. Mobile-friendly pages will actually rank better now than pages that are not mobile-friendly.
Google did this simply because they want to make it easier for searchers to find the information they need on their mobile device. If the text is hard to read without zooming in, the site isn't mobile-friendly. Here's what you should know about this new SEO update from Google.
Affects Only the Mobile Search Results
If you don't care about getting traffic from mobile searches, this won't matter to you. However, if you don't care about mobile traffic, you may be missing out on about 50% of the searches done, especially for a local business.
The mobile search results will be the only ones changed by this update. This means, any local business, such as a restaurant, real estate agent, boutique shop or any other business will be hit on mobile devices. However, businesses can avoid getting hit by Google by using a responsive design or a mobile-friendly website.
Applies to Each Page, Not the Entire Website
This update also doesn't apply to the entire website. It applies to each individual page. If your home page isn't mobile friendly, but your blog is, you will rank fine for your blog posts, but not for your home page.
Not the Major Ranking Factor
While Google has made it clear mobile-friendly is important, it's still not a major ranking factor. They still use a variety of signals to make sure high-quality content is delivered to searchers accurately.
The intent of the search is still one of the most important signals, along with social media and the quality of the content. High-quality content may still rank high on mobile searches even if it's not mobile-friendly.
What Steps Should You Take?
If you want to ensure you get as much traffic as possible, you should check to see if your site is mobile-friendly. This can be done by going to: https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/mobile-friendly.
If your site is mobile-friendly, you have nothing to worry about with this Google Update. If it's not, the mobile-friendly test will provide advice to help you fix your site and make it more mobile-friendly.
Whether your site is already mobile-friendly or not, it's important to make sure you provide high quality content, so that you can rank as high as possible in both the mobile and the regular search results.