Google has decided to punish developers who create not mobile friendly websites by using algorithm which will decrease such websites position in search results. In this article I'll try to explain this fact, as it might be crucial for our users.
Google has just announced that from April 21st, they will increase the importance of mobile-friendliness as a ranking factor in mobile search results. More than 25% of all searches comes from mobile devices, so it may have drastic effect on search results. If your website is not mobile friendly, you can expect to loose some of your traffic in favor of other websites which are properly optimized for mobile devices (of course this change won't affect search results on desktop).
How to check if your website is mobile friendly?
On this website you can check if your website is compatible with mobile devices, but please remember that it's not enough to check only your website frontpage; to make sure, you should also check all views (category, single article, page etc.). If you have small website – it's not a problem but if you have 10000 subpages it may be cumbersome.
If you don't want to check it manually, please connect your website with Google Webmaster Tools and on the "Search traffic" tab on the left you can find "mobile devices support". Here you can check the full report, and you will get notifications if there's any problem with mobile devices support. If you can't find any problems here, you should be relieved.
Do I really need mobile version of my website?
The answer in my opinion is only one – Yes! If you've done the test and it's negative you should prepare mobile version as soon as possible. Of course if you have very small traffic from mobile devices you can delay this process a little (you may have sth to do with higher priority), but please notice that mobile devices and it's traffic is constantly increasing.
Try to imagine the situation when someone at work (on desktop) finds your website, but dosen't have enough time to write your details down or forgot your phone number or address. After work he/she tries to search your company again (but this time on mobile device) and unfortunately he can't find it! Consequently, you will loose the client and good reputation, I think.
Web Developer tips
Please remember that you can use Responsive Web Design (website adjusted to the viewports) or completely separated website for mobile devices. In my opinion the responsive is better, but the choice doesn't influence the search results ranking.
If you are blocking elements such as CSS and JS, your site will not pass Google test, even if everything else on the site is mobile friendly. That is why, you need to allow Googlebot to crawl both CSS and JS to pass.
There's no time specified between making the website mobile friendly and it being reflected in the search results. As soon as Google discovers it is mobile friendly, it will be updated on a URL by URL basis.
Mobile friendly WordPress Themes and Joomla Templates from GavickPro
Of course all of our products for the Joomla and WordPress are mobile friendly (the last 24 themes and templates which are supported), but you have to be aware that some plugins or modifications which you've made may affect the responsive design and it's recommended to check if your website is mobile friendly. More information about Responsive Web Design may be found here and here.
What do you think about the changes announced by google? Share your opinion with us by commenting this article.