Yes, we use the internet and see people using the internet on smartphones all the time. And we know that having a mobile-friendly website is an effective way to maximize the experience for users. But this may no longer just be a recommendation or a good practice: Google’s latest big search algorithm update, often referred to as “mobilegeddon”, is aiming to punish websites that are not considered ‘mobile-friendly’ by decreasing their search rank.
Since more than half of Google searches now take place on a smartphone, one can see why Google would want to give its users mobile-friendly search results/websites. So, if you didn’t have a mobile website, is your website search rank hurt? Are you losing tons of organic search traffic?
It’s been about a quarter since Google’s Mobilegeddon update on April 21, 2015, which promised to immediately penalize sites that weren’t mobile responsive or catering to mobile visitors. If you weren’t prepared for the change on April 21, you are not alone. Nearly 50% of Fortune 500 websites were not ready either.
From what we’ve seen so far, the mobile update to the Google algorithm has only had minor impact on overall rankings. Many SEO experts now believe that the Mobilegeddon update impact will grow over time, and mobile-friendliness will continue to become a more important ranking factor. Searchengineland.com believes this, and that the update may have a much larger impact on only mobile searches, at least for now. Others also believe that local SEO factors and social signals have become more important ranking factors since the update.
Even though your mobile site’s user-friendliness may not be a major search ranking factor yet, it’s definitely a good practice to improve the user interface and overall experience of your website; which can lead to more returning visits, more engagement, and more conversions. Fortunately, Google offers a tool that lets you know if a website is mobile-friendly or not. Just enter your URL using the tool and Google will let you know if the site passed its ‘mobile-friendliness’ test.
At Cii, we believe the growth of smartphone ownership and trend of overall mobile usage, even in the workplace, are enough reason to make website mobile-friendliness a priority. Depending on your industry, you may have (or could potentially have) more mobile website visitors than desktop. You’d want to analyze your website traffic before making a decision; but odds are at least 1 in 5 of your site’s visitors are browsing on a mobile device.