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Most Google algorithm updates come with little warning, but this time around, the search engine giant is not mincing words: if you're not providing visitors a mobile-friendly website, your mobile search rankings are about to suffer.
Google’s algorithm update is happening on 21 April, and will see mobile-friendly, or responsive, websites being favourably boosted in the search results on mobile devices. As a result, if you’re not responsive, you’ll be pushed below the websites that provide an exceptional user experience on a smartphone like your Apple iPhone or Samsung Galaxy.
Are you ready for Mobilegeddon? Read on to learn more about responsive and mobile-friendly websites as well as Google’s overarching aim.
A responsive website covers the “mobile-friendly” aspect (and then some)
Responsive is exactly what is sounds like: a responsive website will “respond” – or adjust – to any screen size that you choose to use. Think of all the screen sizes of iPhones and Galaxies over the past few years: these two mobile devices alone have produced over 10 different screen sizes!
Accordingly, responsive web design is the solution to providing not only a great-looking website, but, supremely, a sublime user experience across every screen size and every device.
Remember, the Google algorithm update is not looking to punish you
Google is not setting out to punish websites that are not mobile-friendly. Rather, they will be favourably rewarding those that are mobile-friendly, and, as a result, non-responsive website will see their mobile rankings drop. As such, these lower-ranked website might see a drop in traffic due to their compromised positions in the search engine results pages (SERPs).
With the rate mobile search has been growing over the past few years, it comes as no surprise that this is the path Google is choosing to take.
Straight from the horse’s (Google’s) mouth
With the astounding growth of mobile searches, it figures that mobile-friendly websites are set to become a prominent factor in the way Google ranks and displays websites. Remember, Google’s main aim is to provide the “best user experience possible”, and mobile-friendly websites will help fulfil that goal.
Here are some quick facts about Mobilegeddon:
— The change will begin on 21 April
— It’s expected to take just a few days to completely roll out
— The change affects mobile searches in all languages worldwide
For what it’s worth, Google has been promoting mobile-friendly websites, through its desire to promote user-friendly experiences, for a while now. In November 2014, it added a ‘mobile-friendly’ tag to mobile search results. This next step is set to be a big movement in the way Google caters for its mobile users.
Do you have a mobile-friendly website?
Check if your website passes Google’s own mobile-friendly test right here.