If your website isn’t responsive, Google is about to spank you
As of February of last year, when the number of web searches from mobile devices passed those made from desktop computers, we’ve been recommending that our clients redesign their websites to be responsive to accommodate the needs of various search devices. We knew back then that it was just a matter of time before Google and other search engines started demoting non-responsive websites from search results.
That time has come. Google has announced it will begin favoring mobile device friendly web pages in search results on April 21, 2015.
What this means in the short-term
If you’ve taken our advice and made your website responsive, you are sitting pretty. You are likely to see an increase in organic search traffic, as Google demotes your competitors who waited.
If you decided to build mobile pages for the content people “on-the-go” need most, it’s time to abandon this approach and go responsive. People are using mobile devices to do web searches in their offices and on their couches.
If you haven’t begun making your website mobile friendly, it’s time to act. Make it responsive, ASAP (if you can, by April 21). If your competitors have failed to act, or have chosen to adopt a mobile site strategy, here’s your chance to one up them.
What this means in the medium-term
This announcement is just the first step in the move to mobile. In the not-too-distant future, expect Google to announce that they will be demoting all websites that are not responsive from search altogether. That’s because Google is in the business of delivering the most relevant search results — regardless of device. What they will be looking for is the most relevant result — whether the search is from a mobile device or on a desktop computer. If you can’t deliver both, eventually, Google won’t deliver your web pages to either.
The Google Announcement can be found here.
If you want to test your site to see if Google finds it mobile friendly (and will not demote it beginning April 21), go here.