Google Begins Using Mobile-friendliness as a Ranking Factor on April 21. Is Your Site Ready?

Is your website mobile-friendly? If not, this news might make you reconsider that.

On April 21, Google will start using mobile-friendliness (or responsiveness) as one of its ranking factors in search results. This is a natural addition given that the number of users using mobile surpassed desktop users in early 2014.

How might this change in ranking factors affect you as the owner of a site that isn’t mobile-friendly? It depends on your industry, according to this recent post by Moz.

If you’re in an industry where mobile-friendly content is prevalent, and your site doesn’t offer it, you could experience moderate to significant loss in your search engine ranking positions. If on the other hand, desktop browsing is the norm for customers looking for content in your industry, there may be little to no impact on your search rankings at this time.

However, this doesn’t mean that making your website mobile-friendly isn’t a worthwhile change.  The number of users accessing the Internet with a phone or tablet continues to increase. If you wait long enough, you could begin experiencing some loss of ranking position as others in your industry replace their sites with mobile-friendly versions.

Red Kite recommends that all business sites we build be responsive to work nicely in phones and tablets. Penalizing your customers by forcing them to zoom in to see content on your site is something that is going to make them leave and go to your competitors’ websites, more and more.

Mobile Vs. Responsive

These are really two different approaches to the same goal.

‘Mobile’ often refers to a separate website, maybe in a subdomain (m.yoursite.com) or created with a mobile plugin or app. It can look and operate much differently than the main desktop-friendly website.

‘Responsive’ is what we do most often at Red Kite. This means your site’s content resizes to match the browser, whether desktop, tablet or phone. It means you have only one site to keep up, with a consistent look and feel across the user experience.

The Next Step

Take this opportunity to take a good hard look at your site in your phone or tablet. If it’s at all difficult to read or get around, this is a great time to remedy that problem. Contact Red Kite and let’s discuss making your site mobile-friendly today.