How Will Google's New Mobile-Friendly Algorithm Affect Your Business?

Google will soon be favouring responsive sites in its search rankings. Could this mobile friendly algorithm threaten your website traffic?

Picture of Andy Goddard Andy Goddard

Published: 17 Apr 2015

5 minutes read

How Will Google's New Mobile-Friendly Algorithm Affect Your Business?

It’s the final countdown to Google’s latest algorithm update, and it is responsive design that will be getting extra credit. From Tuesday April 21st, Google will be rewarding companies for having a mobile-friendly site. That leaves just three days to implement the change! Is your business ready? 

The what 

We’re living in a “Google it” era, and while the search engine giant doesn’t rule the internet it certainly plays a big part in its functioning. It’s therefore big news that Google will shortly be changing the way it ranks websites. 

Search rankings worldwide will soon be affected based on whether websites, landing pages and blogs are fully optimised for mobile. As a result, mobile users will find it easier to access relevant, high quality search results on their various devices. 

Bearing this in mind, non-responsive websites will effectively be penalised, bringing about what some have rather alarmingly termed “mobilegeddon”. Sound threatening? Well, if your site isn't fully optimised for mobile devices, it’s likely that you will experience a drop in ranking on mobile searches. Zineb Ait Bahajji, Google's Webmaster Trends analyst, has suggested that the impact of this mobile friendly algorithm will overshadow both Panda and Penguin in terms of search engine optimisation. 

The why 

Simply put, responsive sites adapt and resize themselves according to a web visitor’s device size, providing a more user-friendly experience. By expanding the use of "mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal”, Google hopes to better cater to the needs of mobile browsers, whose numbers are soaring. 

According to Global Web Index, 80% of internet users own a smartphone, putting these devices at a close second to laptops and PCs as the most popular technology used for web browsing. Google has also cited search engines as the most common starting point for mobile research, with 48% of individuals beginning their online journey in this way. 

This means that mobile users have significant authority in online browsing trends, and Google wants to make it easy for these web visitors to use the search engine and view top ranking sites. 

The who 

The change was initially announced in February on Google’s Webmaster Central Blog. However, not every company has jumped on board in time. 

According to mobile marketing company Somo, MI5 and the European Union number among the many major organisations whose websites are not considered mobile friendly. Google’s mobile-friendly URL tester shows that even Windows Phone and Nintendo UK fail to make the cut, despite being directly involved in the technology industry. 

Penalisations won’t be permanent, and search credentials can be rebuilt once a site is optimised, but bear in mind that the longer a site isn't optimised, the more traffic volumes will decline. 

The how 

You may not need a whole new website to meet Google's new search standards - moving it to a mobile-friendly platform could make all the difference. Luckily for our clients, we are a HubSpot Gold Partner. Hubspot’s Content Optimisation System (COS) uses responsive design to adapt to any mobile device, which means that websites, landing pages, and blogs built in COS will automatically satisfy Google's new algorithm. 

Implementing an inbound marketing approach is another way which can help to drive web traffic, because Google values quality content in its search engine rankings too. By publishing relevant and insightful blogs regularly, companies can start to climb up the Google rankings. If you want to learn more about inbound marketing, here’s a simple overview

Take a look at Google’s totally free mobile-friendly test to find out if your website is up to scratch now. Simply input your website URL for instant analysis and find out how Googlebot views your page. You can also find out how many of your pages are mobile-friendly through your Google Webmaster Tools account.

Don't let Google updates damage your search ranking.

Schedule your B2B website consultation today.