Ranking factors

Google sends mobility warning to Webmasters

Make your website mobile friendly or suffer the consequences. That’s the latest signal from Google as rumour circulates within the SEO community of an impending algorithm update to tackle¬†website mobility issues.

In mid January 2015 it was reported that Google had commenced sending mobility warnings to Web masters. We in the SEO community believe this is a shot across the bow for the Google war on non-responsive, or mobile unfriendly websites.

What is mobility?

Mobility, as it relates to websites, refers to whether a website can be viewed effectively on a mobile device.

Look at any website on your smartphone. If you can see all the content easily then it’s probably mobile friendly. It will appear to render uniquely on mobile phones and tablets. But if you have to pinch or use the tactile functionality to view the page it’s most definitely not built for mobile devices. Back in December 2014 we posted an article about user engagement as an SEO ranking factor, and it seems as though Google is now ready to pull the trigger. A recent news report from Search Engine Land supports this¬†view.

Mobile Friendly User Experience
SERP showing mobile friendly User Experience

If you haven’t done so already you need to make your website responsive, so that it renders across all digital devices in order to give the best user experience.

As we reported in our last post, mobile search is about to overtake searches from a desktop computer. If you do a search on your mobile you will also see that Google labels each appropriate search result “mobile-friendly”. The next step will be to actually apply a penalty to non-mobile-friendly websites, and that will impact negatively on where these sites rank in (SERPs) search engine results pages.

The impact of this update could be devastating for Webmasters if they don’t act fast. Some of the most recent algorithm updates have essentially wiped entire websites from the Google index.

We don’t know how much of an impact the mobility update will have, but if your website is mobile friendly (or responsive) you have nothing to fear and everything to gain!

This is a great opportunity to update the look and feel of your website – especially if it appears dated.

Update: Jan 2017

It’s clear that this update has had a considerable affect on rankings. Websites that are not responsive have all but disappeared from the top rankings. The ‘mobile first’ philosophy is something all businesses must now embrace to achieve successful outcomes from the Internet.

By Michael Breen

Michael Breen has over 17 years experience in digital. He is an SEO expert and can improve your website ranking on Google.