, Will Google’s Mobile-Friendly Ranking Signal Affect Your Hotel?, Odysys

March 25, 2015

Will Google’s Mobile-Friendly Ranking Signal Affect Your Hotel?

According to Gary Illyes, Google Webmaster Trends Analyst, Google’s mobile-ranking factor will be added to the mobile search algorithm on April 21, 2015. Recently at SMX West, Gary provided some key information on how this update could affect websites—and more importantly, hotels, B&Bs and destination resorts.

So, what the heck is Google’s mobile-friendly ranking signal? It boils down to this: Mobile-friendly websites should rank better in mobile search. Seems like a no-brainer, right?

In order to accomplish this, Google has identified several algorithmic changes that will have a significant impact in the mobile search results. So, what’s all this mean for your hotel? Luckily, Google has provided some direction via its Google Developer Mobile Guide.

Here are few key points:

  1. Design—Google prefers responsive web design. They have stated this many, many times. Don’t know what responsive web design is? It’s pretty simple in theory but often difficult to implement. Basically, your site layout changes based on the size and capabilities of the device. The goal is to make it easy for users to consume, share, and link to your content with a single URL. The term “responsive web design” was originally defined by Ethan Marcotte in A List Apart. Check it out if you want to get into the details.
  2. Speed—Speed is extremely important on mobile devices. Cellular and internet connections can be slower and mobile device processors are often less powerful than desktop machines. Consider utilizing Google’s PageSpeed Insights to uncover issues your hotel’s website may have.
  3. Accessibility—For optimal mobile search performance, ensure that Google can crawl your hotel website JavaScript, CSS, and Images. This may involve some additional steps with Google Webmaster Tools. But most modern content managements systems should take care of this for you. You can find more details here.

With mobile travel bookings increasing each year and expected to top $25 billion in the US alone, it’s imperative that your hotel website be mobile-friendly—preferably by April 21.

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