Before we commence with any dire warnings and start scaring you about imminent Google ranking disasters let us first discuss some facts.
A recent ComCore report shows that around 60% of all web traffic is from mobile devices.
We have passed the tipping point now. Mobile traffic is now greater in volume than desktop traffic.
Google launched a “mobile friendly” label for websites in Nov 2014.
When searching on mobiles, browsers will now be able to differentiate between responsive and non-responsive sites, ensuring they can choose the website that offers them the best experience.
Google have been blasting webmasters of the world with notifications and alerts instructing them to “fix mobile usability issues.”
An example is as follows:
“Fix mobile usability issues found on your website.
Google systems have tested 1,670 pages from your site and found that 98% of them have critical mobile usability errors. The errors on these 1,640 pages severely affect how mobile users are able to experience your website. These pages will not be seen as mobile-friendly by Google Search, and will therefore be displayed and ranked appropriately for smartphone users. Fix this now!”
Google is also actively promoting and providing web design fundamentals to ensure that all new websites (and current websites) are able to adapt and deliver the best possible user experience across all devices.
Why are Google doing this?
All these recent changes, updates and warnings amount to one simple assumption:
Google is about to update its algorithm to penalise non-responsive websites’ rankings for mobile search results!
This is VERY important and a HUGE change in Google’s algorithm. They have been building up to this for months. It is simply Google’s attempt to ensure they deliver the most relevant results and direct searches to websites that offer the best user experience.
So, what do you have to do?
If you already have a website that is responsive, adapts to mobile and tablet displays, then you are all good. You can still test your website against Google’s current recommendations and see if there are any further improvements you could make to keep up to date with the latest developments.
If you do not already have a mobile responsive website then we recommend you plan this into your web development strategy now!
Is it really worth it? All the expense of a website redesign?
Put simply, yes! You will benefit in several ways:
- Increased ecommerce conversion rates from mobile customers
- Improved search engine performance
- Improved user experience on mobile devices
- One website – multiple layouts and displays (reduces cost of site maintenance compared to separate m-commerce site)