Recently, Google has announced that starting April 21st they are altering their ranking algorithm. This new update will penalize websites that are not mobile friendly (or "responsive") by not displaying those websites to users who are browsing on mobile devices in their search results. You may have noticed if you browse on your phone that Google is starting to tell you if a site is mobile friendly. We have included two articles below that have reported on this news in the last few days. What do these changes mean for you?
If your website is not responsive (configured properly for display on all devices) or if you do not have a mobile version of your site, then you will see a significant drop in web traffic due to the new algorithm. Mobile-friendly sites will get better ranking because over 50% of all searches are now conducted via mobile devices.
You don't want lose this all-important traffic!
How Big Is Google's Mobile-Friendly Algorithm? Bigger Than Panda Or Penguin
Google's Zineb Ait Bahajji from the Webmaster Trends team was quoted as saying at SMX Munich last week that the upcoming mobile-friendly ranking algorithm that will launch on April 21st will have more of an impact on Google's search results than the Google Panda update and the Google Penguin update did.
Google did say when they announced the mobile-friendly ranking algorithm that this would have a "significant impact" on the mobile search results. This is key, it is only impacting the mobile results and even so, it will have more of an impact than Panda or Penguin.
Google Algorithm Change will Penalize Non-Mobile Websites
According to a Google survey, 94 per cent of people use a mobile phone to get local information and the vast majority of those searches take place at home or at work, despite it being likely the person searching could do so on a desktop computer.
The growth of mobile traffic and users' preference for searches accessible on their mobile phone or tablet has led Google to make a number of algorithm changes.
Now the search engine has announced websites which are not mobile-friendly will be listed much lower in search results. If your site is not configured for mobile, does not look good on different screen sizes and types of device then Google will not promote results from it as highly in its search results.