Do you know how much of your Google search traffic uses mobile devices? Lots of website’s could lose that share of traffic soon after Google began mass emailing web-masters to notify them if their websites are not mobile friendly. The message sent out is unmistakable – make your website mobile friendly or it wont rank as well in mobile device search results.
These pages will not be seen as mobile-friendly by Google Search, and will therefore be displayed and ranked appropriately for smartphone users.
These messages are likely to cause panic among businesses concerned about the loss of traffic, or the potential opportunity to gain a place or two against competitors. People reacted strongly to the HTTPS warnings, although that was fuelled by companies looking to exploit the warning to sell more certificates and SEO work hours. No doubt this recent news will be used by every company pitching a responsive design to clients for months to come.
Unlike the HTTPS warnings by Google, which I think are pointless for man websites I think this is a bold and good move, as it could really help to drive websites to update improving the user experience for everyone. Lots of businesses have already been moving to responsive designs as they see their mobile visitors numbers grow.
What should I do if I get this warning?
If you have received this warning you should first evaluate how many of your pages are deemed not mobile friendly. If you have little to no mobile traffic you may not need to worry quite yet, however that could also highlight a need to improve your site anyway!
If you have a large portion of mobile web traffic, you should really get your website sorted as soon as you can, especially if it is a revenue generating website.
I would then look at getting your website re-made to be responsive if you deem it to be worth your while. If you have a WordPress blog or similar there are loads of free themes available to use.
I may be a bit cynical but if I was flagging a site as being non mobile friendly, I would also reflect that in the sites global quality score. Google haven’t said that they will do this, but I personally think that it will become yet another of the hundreds of ranking factors contributing to your site on all platforms.
Google have made a statement and I really advise you all to plan now and react, before it is too late. They have made a really strong statement, with action surely to follow.