In February, Google announced that beginning April 21, they will expand their use of mobile-usability as a ranking signal, and that this algorithm update will have a significant impact on Google Search results. Google is providing what is essentially a deadline to encourage those who haven’t already adapted their websites to mobile to begin making this transition. Even prior to this announcement, Google’s intentions were clear as it made a strong push to encourage website owners to make their web properties mobile-friendly. This included adding “mobile-friendly” labels to their mobile search results, and providing mobile-usability warnings in Google Webmaster Tools.
Mobile-Friendly Websites Will Become the Norm
Up until now, having a mobile-friendly website has been a competitive advantage for most organizations. However, with this announcement, mobile-friendly websites will quickly become the norm as organizations scramble to remain relevant in mobile search. Moving forward, those organizations that provide visitors with the best mobile-experience will have the competitive advantage.
Responsive Design is Still Google’s Preferred Mobile Solution
One thing that remains constant is that Google still recommends responsive design as its preferred mobile solution. Google believes responsive web design provides a better user-experience because it’s less prone to errors than dedicated mobile sites, and we at Leverage Digital tend to agree with this sentiment. We have encouraged our clients to begin making the transition to responsive design since 2013, and those that heeded our advice, will likely benefit from Google’s upcoming algorithm update.
If you’re still on the fence about making the switch to mobile, now is the time to do it, if SEO is a strategic priority. Failure to adapt your website to mobile may result in a significant decline in mobile search rankings and mobile traffic once the algorithm update goes into effect.