Google revolutionises search to help mobile users

Saturday April 18 2015

The Google logo on a screen. FILE PHOTO | KAREN BLEIER

The Google logo on a screen. FILE PHOTO | KAREN BLEIER |  AFP

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Google search on Tuesday will start factoring in how easy websites are to read on smartphones or tablet computers, underlining the changing way people surf the Internet.

The web titan said that the "mobile-friendliness" of websites will be a factor in ranking results to online searches done using mobile devices.

"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," a Google spokesperson told AFP.

The change will affect mobile Internet searches in all languages worldwide and was expected to have a "significant impact" on results to queries, Google said in a February blog post heralding the move.

Google at the time released an online tool so developers could test how friendly web pages are to use on mobile devices.

"When it comes to search on mobile devices, users should get the most relevant and timely results, no matter if the information lives on mobile-friendly web pages or apps," the post said.

"As more people use mobile devices to access the Internet, our algorithms have to adapt to these usage patterns."