What does Google’s focus on mobile friendly sites mean for your link portfolio?
All the SEO gurus writing for the internet since possibly as early as 2006 or so have known about the importance of making your site mobile friendly if you want to rank on SERPs – and even Google has addressed the importance of mobile SEO directly. So you probably know by now that your site needs to be mobile friendly – if it’s not, take care of that right away before you do anything else.
But there’s another aspect of making your SEO plan mobile friendly that many webmasters and internet marketers overlook – making sure the sites that you share backlinks with have mobile friendly designs.
It’s obviously not imperative that every single site that links to yours – or every site that you link to – has a mobile friendly design, but every mobile friendly site that links back to yours will boost your SEO more than a site linking back to yours that isn’t mobile friendly.
Why is that? Whether or not a site is mobile friendly affects its SERP ranking, which also affects its perceived popularity and legitimacy (as perceived by both Google’s spiders and the general public). Sites with higher perceived popularity and legitimacy are more valuable to get backlinks from – as they will more drastically boost your own site’s ranking in the SERPs.
This doesn’t mean that links from older, “mobile unfriendly” sites aren’t worth having – but you shouldn’t put a large amount of time, effort, or money into them if you want to succeed, just like it’s better to have one or two really legitimate links than a hundred spam links (although the difference here is not that drastic).
This also means that you should look at social media linkbuilding and be sure your external properties (sites that aren’t owned by you but are related to your site, such as Yelp and Google MyBusiness pages) are updated and linked back to your main site. Because these sites are both hugely popular and at the forefront of mobile friendly design, they’re sure to give you a big boost in the SERPs.
This also increases the efficacy of links from sites like Wikipedia, which is hugely popular and very mobile friendly, and news outlets, which tend to be mobile friendly and are often naturally prioritized by Google and its competitors in the SERPs.
Mobile friendliness isn’t the end all be all, but it is a significant part of both your link portfolio and your overall SEO package – if you truly want to succeed, your site and all the sites it is associated with will be mobile friendly. And as we head into 2017, mobile friendliness promises to become even more important – it has every other year since mobile sites became mainstream, and there’s no reason for it to stop now, with mobile devices growing in popularity and wearables putting some freshness into the market segment.