April is full of very important deadlines. Of course we all know about April 15th being the day that your tax return needs to be filed with the IRS, but do you know what happens on April 21?
Here’s what Google says is going to happen:
“Starting April 21, we will be expanding our 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.”
Let’s unpack what this means. We’ve long known that mobile usage is widespread. More than 2/3 of all web traffic takes place via a smartphone, tablet, or other mobile device. Mobile device usage has had a huge impact on every industry, as customers are using their devices before, during, and after engagement. The increased adoption of mobile has made voice search a priority; additionally, we’ve seen mobile use change what’s considered the desirable norms in website design.
Most people own more than one mobile device, and often use them simultaneously. The best industry estimates we’ve seen predict that people will have 4.3 mobile devices by the year 2020; the phenomenon of second screening involves using one device to research or further investigate content seen on another device.
Google has long used algorithms to determine search engine rankings. Most of the time, figuring out what factors influence these algorithms is a process that’s half educated-guess and half wishful thinking. This time, however, Google’s not being coy. If your website isn’t mobile friendly, it isn’t going to be useful to the vast majority of people who are using a mobile device to get online. Google’s going to punish you for this, and it is going to hurt. If you’ve enjoyed front page rankings, and your site isn’t mobile friendly, you are very likely to lose that prime ranking.
The writing is on the wall. A mobile friendly website is no longer optional. Act now to make sure your customers will continue to be able to find you, even after April 21st! Contact us for a consultation to see how we can help make it happen.