Google has announced that websites that aren’t mobile friendly will not rank as high on mobile search results from April 21st 2015. Google has made the announcement ahead of an algorithm update for the very first time, stating that websites that aren’t mobile friendly will be significantly impacted by the new update.
The news was announced on Google’s Webmaster Central blog on Friday stating that:
Starting April 21, we will be expanding our use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal. This change will affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide and will have a significant impact in our search results. Consequently, users will find it easier to get relevant, high quality search results that are optimized for their devices.
If you are not sure whether your website is mobile friendly you can check it using Google’s mobile friendly testing tool. The news by Google isn’t entirely unexpected although the short delay between the search giant’s earlier hints detailed in my previous post. This could leave many website owners scrambling to commission new responsive websites, which is ultimately great news for mobile users and web design companies.
My advice to website owners is to check your Google Analytics or other statistic platform and see what percentage of your traffic is from a mobile device. This will help you to build a clear picture of the potential impact on the 21st of April to you and your business. It is also worth taking regular records of your current website rankings on mobile and desktop devices so that ou have a benchmark to compare against after the update.
I personally think that while Google have said that it will affect mobile search results, it will ultimately contribute to the quality rating of the website in all results eventually. This is conjecture on my part but I am confident that this will eventually happen.