So what has Google done now! They have after a rather long wait (although this was announced end of 2014), unveiled their mobile-friendly label and soon algorithm change that will come into force starting 21st April 2015.
This will most profoundly and negatively impact your website’s natural page rankings in Google’s search results on mobile devices if you do not make your site mobile-friendly.
What it means is IF your website is not mobile friendly (see an example below of what a mobile friendly site looks like on Google’s search engine results) and cannot be used properly on mobile devices, when people are searching for products and services that ordinarily you would appear in the search results for on a desktop computer, when using their mobile phones and tablets your website will not be ranked in the same results.
So that is search rank penalisation and traffic loss in full force and quite frankly a nightmare scenario.
This is the future and they control the search monopoly! The number of people no longer using desktop computers to search is growing and growing. On our own website, mobile traffic is approximately 40% of our total traffic (figures taken over a 3 month period) and to be honest, do you really want to lose any traffic at all?
So rather than become penalised with loss of traffic and de-ranking in the search results on mobile devices, it’s crucial to act NOW and make your website mobile responsive.
You can read the full mobile friendly release update on Google’s Webmaster Central Blog here: http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.co.uk/2015/02/finding-more-mobile-friendly-search.html
You can run the mobile-friendly test on your website here: https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/mobile-friendly.
If your website test comes back saying it’s “awesome,” then you have nothing to worry about and your website’s search rankings will not be affected.
If your website test comes back as being “not mobile-friendly”, don’t panic just yet! But it’s time to make real changes and fast.
You can for example invest in a new responsive website (a new website which is responsive and compatible on mobile phones and tablets, as well as on desktop computers) which obviously is the most expensive route.
If due to budgets or perhaps if you’re happy with your current website from a design and optimisation point of view, you can make your existing website mobile responsive with a separate mobile website. Visits from desktop computers and mobile devices will automatically be redirected to the relevant mobile or full site.
If you are using a CMS platform (such as WordPress), then adding an integrated mobile responsive plugin will also work very nicely and will ensure your website appears as mobile friendly by Google after installing and configuring it (which will take some time).
So it is absolutely critical to get your mobile website strategy and development in place as soon as possible before 21st April 2015. Remember, it will also take some time for Google to index your website and see it as mobile friendly, so the sooner you start to focus on your website’s mobile development the less risk you will have of traffic loss and falling down the page rankings.