Google To Give Non Mobile-Friendly Sites The Punt In Search

Google To Give Non Mobile-Friendly Sites The Punt In Search

Starting today there could be a heap of businesses who have been pushed down the Google search ladder because they don’t have mobile-friendly sites.

Emma Mackenzie
Posted by Emma Mackenzie

The move is being dubbed the ‘Mobilegeddon’, the mobile-friendly-site-apocalypse if you will. So if companies don’t have a site that looks decent on mobile devices, they’ll lose out.

Fairfax Media’s The Sydney Morning Herald has reported that this could affect a number of large companies such as Domino’s Pizza and Coca-Cola Amatil.

Quoting digital strategist Ewan Watt, the changes could also disadvantage a number of smaller businesses, as he said around 66% of companies don’t have a mobile-optimised site.

Google explained the change in a Google Webmasters blog post, outlining how mobile is constantly expanding, the tech giant needs its algorithms to stay up-to-date as well. The change is just one aspect of multiple inputs into the rankings.

“Starting April 21, we will be expanding our use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal,” the blog post, first posted in February, said.

“This change will affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide and will have a significant impact in our search results. Consequently, users will find it easier to get relevant, high quality search results that are optimized for their devices.”

A Google spokesperson also added: “As people increasingly search on their mobile devices, we want to make sure they can find content that’s not only relevant and timely, but also easy to read and interact with on smaller mobile screens. We’ve been offering resources for webmasters to test their mobile sites and tools to make their pages mobile friendly — starting  today, we’ll use a web page’s ‘mobile-friendliness’ as one of many factors to help rank searches done on mobile devices.

“While the mobile-friendly change is important, we still use a variety of signals to rank search results. The intent of the search query is still a very strong signal – so if a page with high quality content is not mobile-friendly, it could still rank high if it has great content for the query. The ranking update will not make it rank below lower quality pages that are mobile friendly.”

The majority of traffic now comes from mobile rather than desktop, according to the latest Nielsen Online Landscape Review report, reported Business Insider, with mobile traffic jumping 65% in the past 12 months.

There’s been much conversation around sites become mobile-friendly, and this might just be the push for companies to get on board.

UPDATE: Google’s head of mobile has published a blog post outlining the changes in detail to combat any misconceptions that have been floating around the internet. Check out the post here.