Google's Mobilegedden: We Cut Through the Hype

Google have launched a new algorithm which favours sites hat are "mobile friendly". This is an important development for everyone - from large retailers, to local local businesses, to bloggers – as websites who are not deemed mobile friendly, could potentially drop down the Google search rankings and will therefore see a drop in traffic.

The reason Google is doing this is because there has been a significant shift from people using desktops to mobile to browse sites and make purchases. If you need any proof, IBM reported that last November mobile traffic accounted for 59.8% of all online traffic in the UK, and accounted for 47.3% of all online sales (IBM Retail Online Christmas Shopping Recap Report 2014).

Understablably, many people are left asking: what does this mean for me? So we have put together some FAQs which should help understand how your site could be affected.

1) How can you find out if your site is mobile friendly?

You can test pages for "mobile-friendliness" using the Mobile Friendly Test.

2) Will desktop and/or tablet ranking also be affected by this change?

No. The update will have no effect on searched from tablets or desktops.

3)  Will Google assess the site as a whole, or individual pages?

The algorithm will work at a page-level, therefore if only 2 pages out of 10 are mobile friendly, only 20% will be positively impacted.

4) If you're site isn't already "mobile friendly", but you are planning to correct this very soon, how long will it take for the changes to be acknowledged and taken in to consideration by Google?

The pages of your site are assessed every time your site is crawled and indexed, which is typically several times a day, so the benefits of adapting your site to be mobile friendly are instant! You can see how frequently Google crawls your site using the free Google Webmaster Tool.

5) In terms of Google ranking strength, is it better to use Responsive Web Design (which uses the same URL and the same HTML for the desktop and mobile versions), or create a separate mobile site e.g.

Google assesses each option equally, so there is no benefit to choosing a separate mobile site over a responsive site in terms of how they are ranked for "mobile friendliness".

6) Will your site/page disappear on a mobile search result it is not "mobile friendly"?

No. Whether a site is mobile friendly or not is one of many indicators that Google uses to rank web pages. If your site delivers high quality content that matches the needs of the person searching, then it can still rank highly. However, if you are competing against many other site's who have made the move to become mobile friendly, then your ranking could be significantly effected.

7) If you site analytics show that a majority of your audience are desktop only, is there any reason to worry?

Yes. The fact is more and more people are becoming mobile only as the mobile phone is able to deliver more and more in terms of functionality and convenience. So perhaps for now your site's traffic won't be affected, but it will in the future.

If you're site doesn't pass the mobile friendly test, and you would like to change that, please contact us via or call 0207 061 6229.
Posted: 21/04/2015 17:30:40