Google Algorithm updated
Google now penalising non-mobile ready websites
Two years ago (as of May 2015) we wrote a blog about the importance of mobile friendly websites. They were a nice-to-have feature back then, but Google has just made them an absolute necessity.
As part of its initiative to provide better search experience to users, Google (as of 21 April 2015) is down-ranking websites that are not optimized for viewing on mobile devices. The update to Google’s search algorithm adversely impacts online publishers who have not made their websites mobile-friendly.
But don’t be scared into taking a knee-jerk reaction. Simply put, the effect this will have on your own website ranking will vary and will depend on a number of factors. These include your target market, the competition, your SEO keywords and many more.
A quick and easy step you can make now is to check you current site using Google’s own online mobile-friendly site checker. Check your site now.
The Google algorithm update change reinforces Google’s mobile-focus as it previously just labelled search results that had good mobile websites. It is early days but it is expected to have an impact bigger than the previous two algorithm updates Panda and Penguin, which affected 12% and over 3% of search results respectively.
Why the change?
The change is designed to help web users find results best formatted for their device. The truth is, Google often makes tweaks to its algorithms and the technology-powering search, but announces few. That fact they have chosen to announce this update suggests Google expects the change to cause a big impact, potentially affecting traffic and revenue for sites that heavily rely on search results. Given that Google estimates 50% of all web searches are conducted from mobile devices, the potential for impact on businesses is considerable.
Google has not given figures on the percentage of web searches that are likely to be affected, but the fallout from the update for sites and services is expected to force more companies to adopt mobile sites and responsive design – Google’s current preferred implementation of the mobile web.
Is my website responsive?
If you’re unsure if your website is up to date on this, there’s an easy way to check.
Open up your website. If you’re on a laptop or a desktop machine, grab the edges of the window and squeeze it until it is about 3 or 4 inches in width. If the website is responsive, it will have automatically adjusted how it looks to fit your window.
What if it doesn’t change?
If it is not responsive, it will be the same website as it was when it was large, and you will have to manually move across the page to see all of it. Like peeking through a letterbox, you don’t get the whole picture in one go and have to scroll both vertically and horizontally to find what you need. This is the kind of website that Google is punishing in its search results.
Now is a good time to ask web designers to take a look. We offer web design and development services, and are happy to have a chat with you – free of charge – over the possibilities for your website. Just give us a call on 0121 399 0066, or email [email protected]