Are Your Google Search Rankings About to Go Down The Drain?
If your website is not mobile-friendly, then yes, your search rankings are about to drop. Google will be changing its algorithm beginning April 21 of this year to include mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal. According to Google, this change will have, in their words, a “significant” impact on search results. This has been in the works for some time. I first began talking about the importance of integrating mobile into your web strategy in 2011 when I conducted a video interview with Sara Santiago at the International Window Film Conference and Tint-Off in Memphis, Tenn. I also touched on it again last April in this blog.
So even though it has been a hot topic for several years, why is Google suddenly making this change? It’s all about what Google views as important. The company’s mission is to provide their users with the most relevant and usable search results possible—that’s where Google makes its money.
Many measurements have mobile traffic accounting for more than 50 percent of the total internet traffic—and that number keeps growing. So, in an effort to provide their users with a relevant and useable search experience, Google is placing a priority on websites that deliver mobile-friendly content.
Here’s what the company said on its webmaster page:
“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.”
While Google was ambiguous with what is meant by “significant impact,” it’s fair to assume that websites that aren’t mobile-friendly will see their search rankings begin to drop toward the end of next month. What the company is not ambiguous about is how it defines “mobile-friendly.” In fact, there’s now a handy link to test your website and see how Google ranks whether the site is mobile friendly. You can test your own site HERE. This testing site will not only be able to tell you if Google considers your site mobile-friendly, but also will give you some direction on correcting this if you get the dreaded “not mobile-friendly” message.
I hope this article provides the motivation you need to check out your own site and make any corrections needed before your search rankings begin to slip. Mobile technology will continue to grow as a percentage of overall web traffic, and the more friendly you can make your website to mobile devices, the more you’ll be rewarded.