Google is set to change how it ranks sites on mobile searches. If you have a significant number of mobile users but have still been putting off updating your site by creating a mobile version or switching to a responsive design – now’s the time to act.
Change is coming April 21st
Google released some news regarding a significant change to the way searches will be ranked on mobile devices. From Google:
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. Consequently, users will find it easier to get relevant, high quality search results that are optimized for their devices.
1. This is mobile only.
Important to note is the fact that these rankings will only affect search on a smartphone mobile device. Most tablet searches and all desktop searches will remain unchanged. If you own a site that does not meet mobile-friendly guidelines but have a very small amount of mobile users, you don’t need to worry about this deadline. Keep in mind, however, it is still widely accepted that the use of mobile devices will continue to increase and should not be ignored in regards to the design and development of your site. Seriously, get some help with that.
2. You’re either mobile-friendly or you’re not.
Yes or no, there is no in-between in Google’s eyes. You either meet their requirements or you fail. Luckily, there is a dead-simple Mobile-Friendly Test provided that involves simply typing in your URL and getting a result.
Another way to test if you site meets the guidelines is to simply google your site name on a smartphone. You should see a line in grey text directly the description with a “Mobile-friendly” designation. If you have a responsive site, you almost certainly have nothing to worry about.