What the mobile changes on Google really mean

Reading Time: 2 minutes

On the 21st April 2015 Google announced that, for mobile users, they will start giving preference to the ranking positions of websites based on whether the sites were mobile friendly or not.

google-mobile

Shortly after they also announced that it may take a few days to a week for the results to start displaying correctly. Now that we’ve started to see the results filtering through let’s take a step back and examine what has happened.

Am I doomed if my site isn’t mobile friendly?

If your website already has great content and is already highly placed on the mobile search results then you may stay where you are, even if your website isn’t mobile friendly.

Google aren’t silly. They won’t boost mobile-friendly websites which have poorer content over those sites that have great content. This is why in the search results you can still see non mobile-friendly websites ranking above friendly websites.

How can I test my site?

There are currently two easy ways. The first is simply looking at the search results in a mobile browser:

Mobile search results,

Mobile search results,

In the image above you will see that the highest placed website is not mobile friendly and the two below it are. These results have changed since the 21st April. There were more non-mobile results at the top but they have dropped down. Just the one remains at the top.

The second option is to test your webpage using Google’s very own mobile friendly test tool which will show you if your page is or isn’t mobile friendly…

How the test result should look.

How the test result should look.

So even if your site isn’t mobile friendly you can still be well placed on the mobile search results if the content is better than the other sites in the listing. Content is still King!

Does this affect results on desktop searches?

No. This update only affects mobile searches.

Can I just make the homepage mobile-friendly and forget the rest?

I’ve seen a lot of comments from designers who are disgruntled with this change. Many are saying they will do the homepage and then not bother with the rest. You can do it that way but I wouldn’t recommend it. Google knows which pages on your site are mobile friendly and which ones are not.

I want to show you an example of why it is important to get more than the homepage fixed…

Homepage is ranked 6th as the landing page.

Homepage is ranked 6th as the landing page.

On my fishing website the homepage only accounts for 3% of entry points to the site. If I had only bothered with the homepage then I would be missing out on a massive amount of potential visitors.

I’ve done the work but Google hasn’t seen it yet?

You can ask Google to re-crawl your URL’s which will expedite the crawl process.

I have no clue what to do. Help!

Contact me and I’ll we will have a chat about it.

Simon Day

Simon has been building websites since 1997 and has worked on several multi-million pound projects. You can say hi on Twitter and maybe Linkedin also.