In its official blog, Google Finding more mobile-friendly search results bookmark_border published a post last February 26, about its plans to implement another set of changes in its search algorithm. Apart from the usual relevance of content and other practices best for SEO marketing, Google said it will now prioritize websites that are mobile-friendly in determining search results.
Google said the move comes in light of the fact that more and more people are using mobile devices to browse the web. It said: ‚”As more people use mobile devices to access the internet, our algorithms have to adapt to these usage patterns. In the past, we’ve made updates to ensure a site is configured properly and viewable on modern devices. Today, we’re announcing important changes to help users discover more mobile-friendly content.”
Further, it said that the changes will take effect starting April 21 and roll out will be carried in a sustained manner.
Is Google being too harsh in its decision to penalize non-mobile-friendly sites? Is it doing the right thing in taking your website to the lower tier of search results, just because you don’t have a responsive site?
Not really. What Google is doing is bringing lazy marketers out of their comfort zones, making them realize that they can no longer live by poorly-designed websites (I’m looking at you, Flash websites!).
Seriously, how can CMOs remain indifferent to the fact that smartphone penetration rate stands to hit 50 percent this year, if we are to believe the The Philippines mobile internet crowd: young, affluent, and growing fast prediction of the Oxford Business Group? How do you tell your CEOs that you are effectively alienating half of the Philippines’ population and not be concerned about this?
True to its word, Google did implement this algorithm change. Last April 22, several webmasters reported that websites that are not mobile-responsive or have no mobile versions have reported drastic drop in their usual web traffic. News websites such as Google Mobilegeddon for Business Insider and Google’s ‘Mobilegeddon’ – 5 Fast Facts for CNN said people are calling the latest algorithm update ‚”Mobilegeddon‚” due to the massive impact it has created in so many websites.
If your website was not hit, good for you. But that does not mean you’re safe. As stated by Google, it will be a continuing update. Unless you produce a responsive site, you might as well throw away your usual traffic and let Google prioritize other websites offering the same content we have but are delivering pages that mobile users can read better on their devices.