We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: having a mobile-friendly website is becoming increasingly more important when it comes to having a successful SEO strategy and — ultimately — a highly-visible and highly-converting web presence.
But how urgent is it that you have a fully responsive, mobile website?
The answer: urgent enough for Google to start sending mass notifications to webmasters who have websites that are not mobile friendly.
According to Search Engine Land, “these notifications contain the subject ‘fix mobile usability issues found on…’” The warnings go “on to explain that these sites have critical mobile usability errors on 100% of the pages on the site and thus the pages will be ‘displayed and ranked appropriately for smartphone users.’”
These notifications are being sent via Google Webmaster Tools and email, and — in most cases — the webmasters are aware that their sites aren’t mobile friendly. So, why are the trendsetters at Google taking the time to remind these webmasters that their sites aren’t responsive and issue a warning that these pages won’t rank well in mobile search?
Because a new mobile ranking algorithm is about to launch at Google. That’s what all the signs point to, at least.
A mobile-focused algorithm update
SEO is a guessing game. Even as experts who make it a priority to stay up-to-date on the latest Google changes and digital marketing industry standards, we’re sometimes surprised at Google’s updates. The push for mobile usability didn’t catch us off guard, though.
Google has been very open about the fact that they’ve been experimenting with mobile ranking factors since November, which is why MDPM Consulting has been building mobile-friendly websites and blogs for the past 2 years. All websites our team designs and builds are fully responsive. In fact, we’ve been working with our long-time clients over the past few months to rebuild their existing websites from several years ago to a responsive format. Ensuring that our clients’ web presences are protected if and when Google rolls out a mobile-friendly algorithm is something we feel strongly about, and we’re taking the proper steps to ensure that each and every client’s website is up to current industry standards.
In addition to sending out these warnings, Google has launched a mobile friendly testing tool, mobile usability reports in Google Webmaster Tools, and mobile-friendly labels in search results. So, if your website isn’t mobile-friendly, you’re at risk for losing out on search visibility — big time.
Back in 2013, Google penalized broken mobile sites, but it seems that this recent round of communication targets sites that are non-responsive, not sites that are mobile friendly but faulty.
As mentioned above, Google has yet to confirm the future roll out of a mobile-focused algorithm, but all of the warning signs are there, and our techies and SEO specialists are hard at work making sure that our clients are ready if and when it does happen.
Ready to convert your non-responsive site to responsive? Want to make sure your mobile-friendly site is really up to industry standards? Have questions about this possible Google update and want to know more? Give Jill a call at (972) 781-8861 or shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.