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On April 21, 2015, Google will be implementing a “mobile-friendly” update to their search engine formula that will preference sites that have been optimized for mobile devices. It’s believed that this change will have more of an impactful than both Penguin and Panda, with websites that have been optimized for mobile viewing getting a rankings “bump,” and those that have ignored mobile getting pushed down the list of search results.
It will impact all mobile search results
50% of all Google searches now happen on mobile devices
The update will occur in real time (e.g. your site will be impacted the moment it occurs rather than weeks or even months later as in some previous updates)
What this means for your business depends solely on how your site has been designed. If you have a website that has ignored mobile, or if you decided to create a separate mobile site to attract that audience, your search results are going to take a bit hit that could severely harm your business. However, if you opted to have your web designer craft a responsive site, there’s a great chance that you’ll see your rank in search results get a nice boost.
Responsive websites meet the needs of your visitors by automatically formatting the site to fit the screen of whatever kind of device they’re using to look at it. In other words, if someone visits your responsive site from a desktop computer or laptop, they get the full, typical layout. Tablet and smart phone visitors, however, will see a different version of the same site that has been optimized for the size of their screens so that it is much easier for them to navigate.
There are two key points here:
The second point is incredibly important to understand, because there are a lot of businesses out there that opted to create a mobile site that is completely separate from their main site. If you have done this, your mobile site will not be penalized by Google’s update, but your “regular” site will.
Of course, there are many benefits to having a site that is responsive that go beyond Google’s new update to impact your business in a number of different ways.
Not sure whether your company’s site is mobile-friendly or not?
Well, you’re in luck. Google has been kind enough to provide site owners with an incredibly handy mobile friendly testing tool. All you have to do is copy and paste the URL of your site into the box on the page and Google will tell you whether or not you need help. Additional resources include Google’s mobile usability reports and mobile guidelines.
White Rabbit is also happy to provide a free responsive design consultation where we’ll look at your site and tell you what we think you need to provide users with the best possible experience. Our analysis will include: