Google Changes Ranking Algorithm, Now Includes Mobility

We are long-time users of Yoast SEO tools for WordPress on all of our blogs. With regular updates and a very nice e-mail newsletter, Yoast lets us focus on content without worrying about SEO. Naturally, there are usually some suggested improvements. But Yoast’s rating of our posts is usually “Good.” Which is good enough for us.

Google Changes Ranking Algorithm

Today’s e-mail update brought news of a major change in Google’s algorithm. The biggest change is including mobility as a factor. According to Yoast, there are four major areas Google looks at:

  1. Viewport not configured / Fixed-width viewport
  2. Touch elements too close
  3. Small font size
  4. Content not sized to viewport

Again, according to Yoast, Google has sent e-mails to website owners whose sites do not meet one or more of the new standards. Google has also provided a test site that will look at a URL and tell you if the site meets those standards.


I tested four of our websites:


Each passed with flying colors.

 Google Changes Their Ranking Algorithm, Now Includes Mobility

Google Test Result (click for a larger image)

What’s interesting about this result is that three of the four sites use WP-Touch, a mobility plugin that I’ve recommended before as one of the ten best WordPress plugins for 2013. I also compared WP-Touch with a responsive theme. The fourth site, Los Altos Politico, uses a responsive theme.

I had my doubts about whether WP-Touch would actually meet Google’s standards. It’s a terrific plugin that is updated frequently, but the three websites use different themes and have wildly different layouts. Kudos to the folks at BraveNewCode Inc. (300-41 King William St., Hamilton, ON. 1 (877) 246-4323).

Not surprisingly, BraveNewCode has also moved into the theme business. Even less surprising is the fact that their themes are responsive. But you’ll still want WP-Touch. Here’s why:

Why use WP-Touch? Google Changes Their Ranking Algorithm, Now Includes Mobility

Why use WP-Touch?

The WP-Touch website offers different pricing schemes. The more sites you license, the more features you get:

WP-Touch Pricing Google Changes Their Ranking Algorithm, Now Includes Mobility

WP-Touch Pricing (click image for a larger view)

But there is a zero-price version available through the WordPress plugin store. Search for the plugin from your WordPress theme and you’ll get the zero-price version. That’s what I use now and will most likely continue to use. I have too many other projects to worry about fine-tuning another plugin.


Joost and family Google Changes Their Ranking Algorithm, Now Includes Mobility

Joost and family

Yoast’s founder and CEO Joost de Valk lives in the Netherlands. Here’s the short version of his bio. (A longer version on his website makes for fascinating reading.)

Joost de Valk is the owner and creator of He’s a WordPress / Web developer, SEO & and an Open Source fanatic. He’s also (and more importantly) the father of three sons called Tycho, Ravi and Borre, a daughter called Wende and the husband of the lovely Marieke, who also works at Yoast.


Yoast and BraveNewCode are two of the good companies in the WordPress ecosystem. I can recommend both of them with no reservations at all.

About Tony Lima

Tony Lima has been working with technology, economic modeling, forecasting, and market research for 40 years. His background makes him uniquely qualified to navigate this varied landscape. Begin with his education: B.S. in chemical engineering from M.I.T. , M.B.A. from Harvard, Ph.D. in economics from Stanford. His day job was professor of economics at California State University, East Bay. He retired in 2016 to devote his time to consulting and writing. But he has found time to: write (eight books and over 100 articles ranging from wine economics to detailed analyses of meta-language code generators) consult with companies ranging from Microsoft to CEDEX keep his expertise up-to-date, constantly reading and sorting through the avalanche of information available daily maintain three blogs: Wine Research, Wine Economics, and Economic Policy Local policy analysis: Los Altos

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