Google's New Mobile-Friendly Algorithm: Why Websites Need to Be Responsive

Mobilegeddon boosts the rankings of mobile-friendly websites that are responsive and optimized for mobile technology

shutterstock 237987838 5554c4df921a3

On April 21st, Google unleashed what many Internet marketers and webmasters are referring to as Mobilegeddon, the search engine's recent mobile-friendly algorithm update. As more and more people are using mobile devices like smartphones and tablets to access the Internet, Google's update aims to improve search results on mobile devices. It boosts the rankings of mobile-friendly websites, while decreasing the rankings of websites that are not responsive and optimized for mobile devices.

Websites that are mobile-friendly also have a mobile-friendly indication listed next to their website on Google search results.

Though this algorithm update only affects search results on mobile devices, organizations that don’t have responsive websites are likely to suffer because a significant portion of consumers are conducting their searches on smartphones and tablets. In fact, according to a study by Clickz.com, a large amount of Google's traffic comes from mobile devices. According to the report, nearly half of all of Google's traffic came from mobile devices from June to November of 2014. Then in November, mobile traffic surpassed the number of visits from desktop, indicating the dominance of mobile search for Google. This makes it very important for organizations to optimize their website, landing page and blog for mobile search.

Google's recent algorithm update is something that organizations cannot ignore. Along with declined visibility on search engines, companies that are not responsive are likely to experience fewer page visits, and declined conversions and sales. To avoid these drastic consequences, it's important for businesses to optimize their websites for mobile devices as quickly as possible.

To test if your website is mobile-friendly, you can type your website into a Google search query. If your website shows up with the mobile-friendly indication, then you are safe. You can also run Google's mobile-friendly test on your website to determine if your site is mobile-friendly. You simply enter your website URL, and the test analyzes the URL and reports if the page has a mobile-friendly design.

If your website is not already mobile-friendly, you need to integrate responsive web design. With response web design, your website adjusts itself to fit the screen of any digital device, including mobile. This gives mobile users the same level of user experience as those using desktops and laptops. Typically, you can make your website responsive without having to modify your website's existing elements, and responsive web design allows you to maintain a single website design for each platform, rather than having to create a separate website for smartphones, tablets and desktops.

As responsive web design boosts your Google search rankings, it attracts more visitors to your website, generates more leads, and increases your conversions and return on investment (ROI). By not optimizing your website for mobile, you will likely fall behind your competitors and lose out on potential customers.

Hugh Sinclair is the vice president of logistics at Shopping Blitz, an online marketplace and store in Union, N.J. that provides over 350 brands of clothes, shoes, accessories and lifestyle products.

Latest