Everything changes on 21st April 2015
It’s been long rumoured in web circles, but Google have finally broken with their long-standing tradition of only announcing changes to their search algorithm after the event, by officially announcing that on 21.04.15, all non-responsive (IE: websites that are not tablet and mobile friendly), will appear lower in search results than those that are.
Google’s web crawlers are already checking pages across the web and all websites that are not responsive will have their mobile traffic discounted in the results. This is seismic stuff and will have huge repercussions for countless businesses.
Responsive is a word that still confuses some people – simply put, a responsive website is one that automatically changes it’s display to suit the users device. The content will be the same, but it will be displayed differently when it is viewed on a laptop, tablet or smartphone.
Just take a look at our webtreeagency.com site on different mobile devices to see what I mean.
So why is Google doing this now? The answer is simple – Google are committed to always providing the best results for search: as searches on mobile devices now far outweigh the ones on desktop, any site that doesn’t cater for this will not be giving the best user experience. Therefore mobile-friendly websites will be rewarded with higher rankings. For Google it is all about the internet user and not the website owner.
Google are already sending Webmasters an email when their Googlebot’s find pages that don’t comply to warn of the deadline. The warning subject is unequivocal – “Fix mobile usability issues found on ‘website”
So what can you do if you have a non responsive website? You only really have two options. The first is to try and adapt your existing non-responsive website to become fully responsive. Depending on the code used, this may not be possible in every case. The second option is to have a total rebuild, with responsiveness baked-in from the start.
Please don’t stick you head in the sand if you value your business website. Check your site now and act accordingly.
Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 01473 858 568 if you want to talk to us about responsiveness.