Have you been procrastinating when it comes to making your website more mobile friendly? If you have, you now have Google to contend with. The tech giant recently announced a firm deadline of April 21st, when it will incorporate a website’s mobile-friendliness into its ranking algorithm.
In the world of SEO, a major algorithm update – think penguins, hummingbirds and pandas – is akin to an apocalypse, and they usually tend to come with little (or extremely vague) warning. This time, though, Google has given us well over a month’s notice to get prepared, stating: “Starting April 21, we will be expanding out 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.”
In reality, Google has been telling webmasters to prepare for mobile for some years now, but the recent announcement of the Mobile Search update is surely a compelling reason to take action for those who have been dragging their feet?
Why does this April 21st algorithm change have such a huge amount of hype surrounding it? Well really, Google is telling us that it will reward mobile-friendly and mobile-responsive websites with a better positioning which, in turn, means more traffic (from an ever-expanding user base). On the flip side, sites that are not mobile friendly will see less mobile organic traffic – i.e. a smaller piece of the mobile pie – and will ultimately have to rely on a dwindling desktop-based audience.
Really, then, do we have an option? It’s more of a memo, I think – Operation: Get me a responsive website… ASAP!