On April 21. 2015 Google will start to penalize your website if it is not mobile-friendly.
Before I go any further, here’s the Google site you can go to right now, plug in your web address and Google will tell you if your website is considered mobile friendly. If you get a thumbs up, then you have nothing to worry about.
Thumbs down? Read on.
This is actually a pretty big deal, considering that for most websites I’ve worked on traffic from Google is normally among the highest quality – visitors tend to stay longer and click around more than other big traffic sources like Facebook.
Also, looking at the 40 or so Google analytics accounts I have access to, I looks like the average amount of traffic from mobile sources — smartphones and tablets — is somewhere around 25 to 30%.
So what Google is saying is that on April 21, it will begin to penalize sites in Google mobile search results if their site is not up to a certain standard. So if your website is not mobile-friendly you will not be showing up as high in mobile search results.
If you don’t know what I mean by mobile search results, in a nutshell it is any time someone searches for something using Google or a Google search app on their tablet or smartphone. So when I open my Chrome browser on my iPhone and search pizza (as I often do), the results I see are Google mobile search results like this:
Google is not messing around either, they are saying that there will be a significant impact for sites that are not mobile-friendly. In their words:
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.”
I hate to say it, but if your site is not mobile-friendly, you really do need to address this issue pretty quick. Especially for regional and small businesses that rely on local mobile search — restaurants, real estate agents, local retail outlets, legal professionals, medical/dental, pizza shops… on so on.
So click here and see if your site is mobile-friendly. If it isn’t, I will be writing more on the topic and the solutions.
Or you can go here and read through Google’s guide to building a mobile-friendly website.