After a long testing period, Google has officially decided to consider mobile-friendliness and indexed apps as ranking factors in its search results.
There’s no denying that more and more users are shifting their search habits from desktop to mobile devices, and so in order to help them discover the most relevant, quality results, Google will soon surface more content that is optimized for mobile.
This algorithm update will take effect on April 21 of this year, and it will affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide, says Google.
To prepare for the change, Google suggests webmasters should either conduct a mobile-friendly testor examine mobile usability issues by using the Mobile Usability Report in Google's Webmaster Tools.
Additionally, effective immediately Google will consider information from indexed apps as another ranking factor for signed-in users who have the app installed. Specifically, content from indexed apps may rank higher in Google search results for relevant queries. As a result, app developers will have to establish a relationship between their Web pages and app deep links.
In a seemingly related move, Google has just purchased the domain .app for the price of approximately $25 million in an auction held by The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). The tech giant didn't disclose specific plans for the .app domain, the purchase will likely enable Google to better promote apps on mobile SERPs in the future.