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Google Algorithm Promotes Mobile Friendly Sites



Mobile use is still on the rise and Google’s mobile algorithm update is proof that Google wants to improve search for mobile users too.

It’s now more important than ever to ensure your website is mobile friendly. Otherwise, your search rank could plummet on mobile devices.

With millions of potential customers searching from mobile devices daily, businesses can’t afford not to invest in a mobile friendly or responsive design. Thanks to Google’s search changes, many businesses are scrambling to accommodate their mobile audience.

Google loves mobile, but is your site ready for the changes?

Understanding The Update

The mobile friendly update, sometimes referred to as mobilegeddon or mobilepocalypse, rolled out on April 21, 2015. Most sites didn’t notice any major differences for nearly a week as the update was introduced gradually. The new update adds a mobile friendly requirement for sites to rank high when searched for via a mobile device.

Google was quick to explain that this update doesn’t affect search results on desktops. The premise behind the update is to provide mobile searchers with sites that are optimized for their devices. For instance, if your site wasn’t mobile friendly, it would rank lower when someone searched on a mobile device. However, your rank would likely be higher if the same person searched for you from a desktop.

Another thing to consider is your site will still rank on a mobile device, even if it’s not mobile friendly. Google uses a variety of ranking criteria and this is just one of many.

Google describes a mobile friendly site as one that doesn’t require:

  • Horizontal scrolling to view a page
  • Tapping or zooming in to view content
  • Special plugins to view playable content

Mobile friendly sites should also have well spaced tap targets to make content easier to interact with. To help guide site owners through this change, Google has created a Mobile-Friendly Test tool to help you see if your site meets their standards.

The Rush To Update

Many site owners hurried to try and roll out mobile friendly updates to their sites. In fact, 40% of Fortune 500 websites weren’t prepared for the latest algorithm change. Rushing to meet Google’s new requirements might not seem important until you consider how popular mobile search has become.

It’s also important to note that mobile friendly increases visitor satisfaction. Happier visitors stay on your site longer, decreasing your bounce rate. They’re also more likely to share more content or recommend your site to others. This affects your ranking and overall traffic positively on both mobile and desktop.


Even if you aren’t concerned with Google’s algorithm update, you should be concerned about visitor satisfaction.

The Time For Mobile Friendly Has Come

Now is the time to consider a responsive design or at least a mobile version of your site. If you don’t think this update affects you, consider the following statistics:

  • 43% of mobile traffic to sites comes from search
  • 20% of all searches originate from smartphones
  • 75% of people use both mobile and desktop during the day
  • 80% of US teens have smartphones with 90% of them using their phones to search online
  • 69% of consumers from 18-39 with an income over $75,000, research products via mobile before buying

The trend towards mobile search is growing and these numbers are only expected to increase. From comparison shopping to researching a brand before buying, consumers are increasingly turning to their mobile devices to make decisions on the go. Some are even relying on them fully instead of using desktops at all.

Stay Competitive And Please Visitors

Even if you aren’t concerned with Google’s algorithm update, you should be concerned about visitor satisfaction. At least part of your visitors expect to interact with a mobile friendly site. A responsive design gives you the ability to have an easy to use site for all your visitors. The time has come to update your site if you want to stay competitive and provide visitors with the best experience possible.

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Ready to update to a mobile friendly site that showcases the best about your brand? Let the us create a responsive site designed to please visitors and Google.

Header Image: Johan Larsson; Image with Quote: Alejandro Escamilla




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