Ready for Google's April algorithm update? Why responsive websites matter


If you’ve been putting off responsive web design, Google’s latest announcement might be that last push you need to take action!

On 21 April, we’ll see a big change in the way Google favours responsive – or ‘mobile-friendly’ – websites: mobile-friendly will become a ranking factor in Google’s algorithm, with the search engine announcing that they will be “expanding our use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal” for mobile search.


These are the two things you need to know:

1) The change will begin on Tuesday, 21st April, and will take a few days (up to a week) to roll out completely; and

2) There is no in between: you’re either mobile-friendly, or you’re not.


What does this mean for you?

Well, if you’ve already got a responsive website, you’re definitely on the right track, and can only benefit from better mobile rankings, as non-responsive sites are pushed down. 

Those of you still operating a desktop-only site: be prepared to see negatively impacted rankings on mobile. 

 

Pitfalls of a desktop-only website

The frustration when a user visits a non-responsive website on his or her smartphone is colossal. Constant pinching, zooming, tapping, and scrolling drives users crazy, and often results in abandoned websites. 

Clicking the back button and finding an alternative website (perhaps your competitor! ) is simpler than trying to fiddly navigate a non-responsive site. 

 

Why responsive matters

In 2014, smartphone searches, for the first time in the internet’s history, overtook desktop searches. This was a huge shift in the way customers are searching for and consuming information. 

In fact, four out of five consumers shop on smartphones! 

We’re now past the tipping point, and in a position to understand and analyse just how consumers behave when they’re on their smartphones.

Our attention span has also been compromised. We simply don’t have the time, nor the patience, to wait around for lagging pages to load. 

A mobile-friendly website decreases page-load speed, therefore improves the user experience, and reduces bounce rate.


Uh oh! Will your mobile rankings suffer in April due to Google's algorithm change?

 

Find out if your website is mobile-friendly

Check if your website passes Google’s mobile-friendly test! Simply visit https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/mobile-friendly/ and input your URL. In just a few seconds, you’ll get a result. What was your verdict? 

Are you safe from Google’s algorithm announcement?

Today, responsive web design is more than just a luxury – it’s a necessity. 


Want to go responsive before Google’s big change hits next month, possibly affecting your search rankings? Then get in touch with us today !

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