Though Google has recommended responsive design as the best practice for quite a while, when April 21st comes, they will start penalizing sites that are not mobile friendly. Though many of their past changes to their search algorithm were sudden and without warning, Google recently announced the change to give businesses a chance to make progress.
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.
More and more users are accessing the internet through their phones, and now Google is finally making sure that search results deliver sites that are easy to use on phones when a search is conducted there.
So if your site has a mobile version or is designed to be responsive, you’ll be safe. Possibly better than safe if there were sites above you in search rank that were not mobile friendly, as they may now fall below you. There are, however, different levels of mobile-friendliness. Using the default mobile version provided by Bigcommerce or Volusion isn’t as good as having a responsive website. If you want to test a few pages, you can use Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test. You can also use your Webmaster Tools account to get a full list of mobile usability issues across your site using the Mobile Usability Report.
However, if you have yet to appeal to the ever expanding market of people that use their phones to browse and shop, you have until the 21st of April to hire a developer to bring your site current. If you’re in this latter category, give us a call and we’ll help.
- Joe Chilson
- March 12, 2015