What’s it all about?

It’s no secret that the percentage of website traffic from mobile devices is growing on a daily basis, so much so that most websites see the largest percentage of their traffic originating from mobile.

This change in user behaviour hasn’t gone unnoticed by Google, the search engine giant has been waxing lyrical for the last 2 or 3 years about the importance of delivering an optimised experience for mobile users.

On the 26th February, Google announced through its Webmaster Central Blog that there would be a significant update to search results on mobile devices and the result would be that non-mobile friendly websites would likely drop down the search rankings and be replaced by mobile friendly websites.

Will the update affect me?

Non-mobile friendly websites

Websites which are not optimised for mobile devices will likely see their position in the Google fall from searches made on mobile devices.

Mobile friendly websites

If however, you have a website which is mobile optimised then it is likely your position in Google will improve as other non-mobile friendly websites drop down the search results.

Who will be effected?

Everybody! Google has indicated that nobody is exempt from the Mobile Friendly update and that big brands and small brands will all be affected.

High traffic sites are likely to see the effects of the update quicker than most, the reason for this is Google tends to crawl and re-index high traffic sites more frequently than lower traffic websites.

When will I be effected?

The update starts rolling out on 21st April 2015, although according to Google’s Webmaster Trends Analyst, Gary Illyes “Rollout may take weeks, so you might not see an immediate effect”

How do I check my site?

Google Search

The easiest method to check if your site is likely to be affected is to Google your brand name from a mobile device, if you see the “mobile friendly” label underneath your website address then you shouldn’t be negatively affected by the update.

Google mobile friendly label

Google mobile friendly test

For a more in-depth site analysis, enter your web address into the Google Mobile Friendly test, your site will then be analysed and you will be given a message to say whether your site is mobile friendly or not.

Can my site recover from the penalty?

Yes… to recover from this penalty you will need a mobile friendly website. Once your mobile friendly website has been published, allow a few days for Google to re-crawl the site and you should see your search rankings recover.

responsive web design
A website optimised for mobile using responsive web design

A word of warning… the crawler that Google uses for mobile websites is different to the one they use for desktop websites, therefore you will need to ensure that your new mobile website is optimised for SEO and targets the keywords you want your site to rank for.

Feeling a bit lost?

If all of this technical talk of web crawlers, algorithms and rankings is a bit overwhelming, then feel free to drop us an email or give us call

Justin Taylor

Justin's path into design and marketing has been anything but conventional. A random selection of career decisions saw him designing rave flyers, t-shirts and (although refusing to divulge his stage name) he allegedly did a summer stint in Gt Yarmouth as a magician before finally settling on a career in marketing.