In our January 24, 2015 blog post, What Does “Mobile Friendly” Mean in Google Mobile Search Results?, we said that Google was adding a mobile-friendly label in mobile search results and looking at adding this to how they rank websites. A few days ago Google announced that beginning April 21, 2015, they are moving forward with preferring mobile-friendly websites ranking in mobile search results.
“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.” – Google
Their decision to expand their use of mobile-friendliness as an actual ranking component is not a huge surprise. But it is a clear signal of their commitment to help users discover the most relevant, timely and mobile-friendly content.
What do these changes mean for your website?
Your website can still be found in mobile search, but the results will be pushed below “mobile-friendly” website results meaning most users may never see it.
How do I know if my website is mobile-friendly?
To know if your site is mobile-friendly use the Google Mobile-Friendly Test tool. It’s pretty simple to use. Just enter your URL and hit Analyze.
My website is not mobile-friendly. What now?
- Do you know how many people are coming to your site from Google, etc? How many of your visitors are using a mobile device to access your site? And, of those, are they staying on your site? If you have a high bounce rate, chances are good that your site is hard to read on a mobile device. Your website analytics is the source for this information.
- Check out Google’s Mobile Friendly Guidelines. This is an an excellent source to help you know what to do so people can have a great experience using a mobile device to access your website.
- Have a conversation with your website designer about converting it by the April 21 deadline. Among options for compliance, good web design agencies will recommend using Responsive Web Design, a design technique that ensures your website looks and functions equally great on mobile devices, tablets, and desktops.