Google to Punish Non Mobile-Friendly Sites in Search Results

Google announced today that starting April 21, Google will be expanding their 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 their search results. Consequently, users will find it easier to get relevant, high quality search results that are optimized for their devices.

What does "mobile friendly site" mean?

Google has created a Mobile-Friendly Test where you can see if your (and everyone else's) website passes the following list of criteria:

  • Avoids software that is not common on mobile devices, like Flash
  • Uses text that is readable without zooming
  • Sizes content to the screen so users don't have to scroll horizontally or zoom
  • Places links far enough apart so that the correct one can be easily tapped

Does Your Site Pass the Tests?

If you want to make sure that your page meets the mobile-friendly criteria:

  • Check your pages with Google's Mobile-Friendly Test
  • Read Google's updated documentation on their Webmasters Mobile Guide on how to create and improve your mobile site
  • See the Mobile usability report in Google Webmaster Tools, which highlights major mobile usability issues across your entire site, not just one page
  • If your site is running on a CMS (Content Management System) like Wordpress, Joomla or Drupal you can check out Google's How-To Guide for Third-Party Software to see some tips on updating to a mobile-friendly template.

My Site Failed... Now What?

Did your site pass the tests? If so congratulations to you and your web team! If your site failed to pass the tests you should be concerned, but it isn't a reason to panic. Many great companies haven't had the resources or knowledge required to make the needed changes to their sites, but Google is giving those companies a couple months still to make changes.

“As more people use mobile devices to access the internet, our algorithms have to adapt to these usage patterns.

Google will begin ranking pages for search result placement based on the friendliness of your site on mobile devices on April 21st, which gives you some time to get your sites updated. Are you unsure where to begin?

Fortunately, we here at Dapper Gentlemen are here to help. Web and mobile design and development is in our DNA, it's what has driven us to win top industry awards and the recognition of our peers. If you need consultation help with planning to design and development we would love to talk to you.