If you do not have a mobile or responsive site, then on April 21st you will find your business lower down on Google’s mobile search results.

Every day the internet gets more mobile. More people own mobile devices than ever before, and the mobile networks which connect them are getting bigger and faster all the time.

close up man's hands using cellphone

Today, it is estimated that about 50% of internet searches are completed using mobile devices. And Google – the great powerhouse of the internet has responded proactively.

Late last year, Google introduced a ‘Mobile-friendly’ label to mobile search results that met Googlebot’s usability guidelines.

On April 21st they will take mobile search ranking updates to the next level.

Google mobile ranking update

They recently announced an algorithm update that will have a “significant impact” on search results for mobile users. The update will improve the rankings of sites that provide a user-friendly experience to mobile searches, and penalises sites that do not.

Importantly, the update will only affect mobile search results – those conducted from a desktop or laptop will be unaffected.

It might be tempting to put off creating a mobile-friendly site, especially if your sites statistics indicate that fewer visitors come from mobile than desktop.

But neglecting this update would be taking a very short term view of your sites visibility – especially since Google guru Gary Illyes recently indicated that bigger changes were still to come.

What is a mobile-friendly website?

Whether or not a website is ‘Mobile-Friendly’ is determined by four key usability indicators:

  1. It avoids software that is not common on mobile devices, like Flash
  2. It uses text that is readable without the need to zoom
  3. It sizes content to the screen so users don’t have to scroll horizontally or zoom
  4. It places links far apart so they are easy to tap

 

There are two types of ‘Mobile-Friendly’ sites. The first type is mobile or “m.” sites (like http://m.bbc.co.uk) but these sites are problematic because they essentially split one site into two duplicates which compete against each other.

Responsive sites have become the industry standard. These sites are designed so that they adapt to different screen sizes. These kinds of sites are easier to use, run smoother and look better than “m.” sites.

Is my site mobile-friendly?

You can check if your website will be penalised by using Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test.

If your site is not mobile-friendly it is absolutely crucial that you do something about it before April 21st, especially if a lot of traffic comes to your site through mobile devices.

For a free-of-charge evaluation of your website speak to one of our expert developers today. Call 0161 974 0974