If you’re still thinking about how to make your website more mobile-friendly, you better stop thinking and start doing because you’re about to get left behind. In case you missed it, Google modified its search algorithms yesterday, resulting in a major change to the way the search engine ranks websites. Sites that are mobile-friendly will now appear much higher in the results than those that aren’t, ultimately forcing marketers to address any shortcomings their site may have when it comes to access on mobile devices.
The Inevitable Change
It’s really no surprise that Google has made this change. For quite some time they have been making smaller updates that have increased the profile of mobile-friendly sites in search engine results, heralding an eventual and inevitable bigger change. This most recent algorithm change is intended to make it easier for users “to get relevant, high quality search results that are optimized for their devices.”
What it also does is downgrade websites that don’t meet Google’s mobile-friendly standards, which could have a serious impact on site traffic, leads, and other key performance indicators. For websites that have been holding off on making any major moves toward mobile accessibility, now is the time. A responsive design is the best practice for creating an optimized experience for users across the ever-expanding market of mobile devices, however in some specific cases, there may be a compelling reason to build a m.dot site. Either way, with this change, Google has essentially forced the hand of those websites still figuring out how to best handle their mobile traffic.
A Major Mobile Milestone
The number of searches performed on mobile devices has been on a steady rise for many years, as has the growth in traffic from mobile. In fact, 2014 marked a major milestone in that the number of global users going online with mobile overtook those accessing by desktop, and the gap is only going to get bigger with emerging devices like smart watches and other wearables hitting the market.
According to the New York Times, despite Google’s dominance as the go-to search engine, their “grasp on the mobile market is slipping in the face of increased competition from “native” apps expressly meant for mobile devices.” Improving their search results for users is key to maintaining their search revenues as mobile continues its growth.
How Does Your Site Stack Up?
If you’re wondering how to check on the mobile-friendliness of your site, you can use this tool developed by Google. It will give you a sense of where you stand in Google’s eyes, and exactly how fast you need to get moving on optimizing your site for traffic from mobile.
For more on mobile, check out:
Responsive Design 2.0: Dynamic Serving and The Future of Mobile Web Design
Content Considerations for a Responsive Web Design
Responsive Web Design: You’ve Come a Long Way