Google's mobile-friendly update - what it means for you

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As you may already be aware, last week Google updated its search algorithm. Big deal I hear you say? Well, for some website owners, it could be. 

Whereas in previous updates Google has sought to penalise websites for bad things, this time round it's seeking to boost websites presence. But only if they are mobile-friendly. They define this as "pages that are legible and usable on mobile devices". So if your website loads on a mobile device like the one on the left of this image, Google may warrant your content as less relevant and high-quality than those that load like the site in the right of the image: 

Screen Shot 2015-04-07 at 2.20.01 AM.png

Source: Google Web Master Central Blog, 21st April 2015

Not sure if your website is mobile-friendly or not? Take your mobile phone and tap in the URL. Does it look like the picture on the left or right? Some websites are also partially responsive and this update applies to individual pages, not entire websites, so you may not need to carry out a wholesale review of all your functionality. 

To check for sure if your site is mobile-friendly, you can use Google's mobile-friendly test. Whereby you submit individual page links and click 'Analyze' for an instant check:


You can also check your entire sites mobile usability using Webmaster tools (Google account required). Once logged in, you will need to add your website if it's not already linked to your Google account. 

The important thing to remember here is that it is all relative. TechCrunch reports that this update could affect 40% of the Fortune 500 websites who are in a far less lean position than smaller organisations to make the leap to mobile friendly. Therefore this provides a window of opportunity to SMEs to lead the charge and feel the benefit of potentially higher search rankings whilst the larger sites catch up.

Google also report directly that they will continue to use a variety of different determining factors for ranking search results. Including the intent of the search query and the quality of the content on the page, even if it is not mobile-friendly. Having said this, the move by Google signals the transition in consumer's expectations more broadly. Content is still king when it comes but users are simply not willing to accept that websites don't respond to their device type. With mobile usage overtaking desktop in 2014, user experience perceptions have changed hugely in the era of the tablet smartphone and businesses in all industry sectors need to accept that the time to transition is now.  

All our fully bespoke websites are responsive to a multitude of device types as standard, so if you'd like to discuss your mobile-friendly requirements, get in touch today

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