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Mar 28

Google to Start Penalizing Non-Mobile Websites


In: Strategy Insights

If you’ve been dragging your feet when it comes to updating your website to ensure it's mobile-friendly, now is the time to act. Google recently announced that beginning April 21, it will start factoring mobile-friendliness into its ranking algorithm. This means that websites that have been ignoring mobile will be ranked lower by Google.

According to a recent Google blog post:

Starting April 21, we will be expanding our use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal. This change will affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide and will have a significant impact in our search results. Consequently, users will find it easier to get relevant, high quality search results that are optimized for their devices.

A member of Google’s Webmaster Trends team further elaborated on the magnitude of this algorithm update, saying that this change will have more of an impact on search rankings than either Panda or Penguin, two of the most significant updates Google has ever introduced.

The Importance of Mobile

Regardless of this update, mobile should already be a priority. With all of the research showing its rapid adoption and expected growth, one thing is clear — users are flocking to mobile, so websites lacking a good mobile experience will soon find themselves falling in the rankings and losing out to competitors.

When you consider the fact that more than 60% of all Google searches are now performed on mobile devices, it makes sense that Google would want to ensure the best user experience possible.

Check Your Website

In preparation for this update, there are several steps you can take to determine whether your website is mobile-friendly:

  • Mobile-Friendly Test - Analyze a URL and report if the page has a mobile-friendly design.
  • Mobile Usability Report - Use your Google Webmaster Tools account to get a full list of mobile usability issues across your site.

If everything comes back positive and your site is deemed mobile-friendly, you don’t have to worry about anything. On the other hand, if you discover issues with your site’s mobile compatibility or your site is not compatible at all, you need to act quickly.

Upgrade Your Website

If your website is not mobile-friendly, meaning it isn’t responsive to different screen sizes and properly configured and able to be viewed across multiple devices, Google will penalize your search rankings. It is important that you begin the process of upgrading your website.

UNION can work with you to create a website that uses responsive design techniques. Responsive design ensures that the website automatically adjusts according to the device’s screen size and orientation, giving the user a browsing experience tailored to their device.

In addition to Google preferring this method of mobile optimization, here’s some information about the additional benefits of using responsive design techniques.

To learn more about how your website will be affected by Google’s algorithm update, contact UNION.

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UNION is a full-service digital agency. We create experiences that help brands thrive. We believe to be relevant in today’s marketplace, brands must lead with a digital-first philosophy. We craft engaging digital experiences and integrated campaigns that are built on strategy and driven by data. At the heart of what we do is help brands create meaningful and enduring relationships with highly connected consumers.

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