I’ve been going on about the importance of mobile for some time now, and this month sees Google introduce a significant change which could seriously affect your website traffic.
Here’s what they said:
“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.”
Basically, if Google doesn’t consider your site mobile friendly, you will be demoted in the search rankings if the user is using a smartphone. And as more and more people use their phones for browsing the internet, that’s a game changing move. Google have stated that this update won’t affect tablets but don’t be surprised if that comes sooner rather than later too.
At the moment Google highlights mobile friendly sites in the search results when you use a mobile device. But from April 21st they will be penalizing sites which don’t pass the test and rewarding those that do.
Is your site Mobile Friendly?
You can check if Google considers your site mobile friendly using their Mobile Friendly Test.
Fortunately Paprika Marketing passed!
- The content is wider than the screen
- The text too small
- The links too close together
What to do if your site fails
If your site isn’t mobile friendly, then it’s time to think about replacing it.
You can check out the likely impact on your business by looking at the proportion of your visitors who use mobiles in Google Analytics
The bigger this number, the quicker you should act to get your website replaced. Not just for Google, but for your customers.
A couple of years ago there was a lot of debate about whether to have a separate mobile version of a website, or to use something called “responsive design” which means a website that automatically adapts to the device being used. Google has come out emphatically in favour of responsive design and that is the option most web developers will now use. Make sure you specify this when talking to developers about replacing your website.
PS: Google will be rolling out this update from 21st April 2015 rather than implementing it in one “big bang”. They usually start roll outs in the USA so it may well not arrive in the UK for a few weeks after that date.