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Important Google Mobile-Friendly Update Coming

28 Mar 2015
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We at Limelight Online are huge proponents of responsive website design and never develop a website without making sure it is mobile friendly. We’ve always considered the user in our design process and with the huge uptake in the use of mobile devices over the past couple of years we know we need to future proof our client’s sites and ensure that they are giving their site visitors the best possible experience regardless of the device they are viewing the website from.

We’ve also known for some time that mobile search was gaining traction and that it would only be a matter of time before the Search Engines started to favour websites in their search results that offered the best possible experience for users.

At the end of last year we talked about how Google’s goal was to help mobile users to have a better mobile web experience and that they were testing the use of a new icon in US mobile search results to indicate if a website was mobile friendly or not.

And then earlier this year Google officially unveiled the new mobile friendly site indicator whilst at the same time confirming that they were experimenting with using the 'Mobile-friendly' label as a ranking signal. This sent a very strong signal that online visibility in Google was set to become a lot harder for non-mobile friendly sites.

Well, the experimentation is over and on the 21st of April Google are releasing a new mobile-friendly ranking algorithm. Rumoured to be the largest update in Google‘s history it affects how websites get ranked on mobile search results worldwide for mobile searchers.

What does this mean for you?

If you do not have a mobile-friendly website then you can expect your site’s level of visibility to drop significantly in Google’s mobile search results*. This will have a direct impact on the organic search traffic that you currently receive.

What should you do?

Check out your website statistics to see what percentage of mobile search traffic you currently receive to your website. If organic search engine traffic is important to your business and you wish to continue to receive traffic from mobile search then you need to seriously consider having your website redeveloped to make it mobile-friendly. Contact your web developer and get the ball rolling.

Without a mobile-friendly website you risk losing traffic to your mobile friendly competitors.

What happens after my site is made mobile friendly?

Your new mobile-friendly website will automatically be included in mobile search results and you can expect to start reclaiming the mobile search traffic that you lost as a result of Google’s update. It is very likely though that the early adopters will have the edge and gain more prominent exposure, so the sooner you act the better off you will be.

Want to test your site for yourself?

If you want to know how Google sees your site then check it out using Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test tool.

If you still need convincing that mobile-friendly is the way to go then check out these recent posts from Google and others in the industry:

Finding more mobile-friendly search results – Google Webmaster Central Blog
Avoid Common Mistakes – Mobile Website Development – Google Developers Guides
Google Answers Pressing Questions About Mobile-Friendly Algorithm Update – Search Engine Journal
Google’s Mobile Algorithm Puts Customers First – Search Engine Watch
Mobile Design and It’s Increasing Importance – Limelight Online Blog

You’ve got everything to gain from going mobile-friendly. Don’t wait – act today!

*Note that the mobile-friendly update only affects mobile search results — i.e., searches from smartphones and tablets — not searches conducted on a desktop or laptop computer.

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