How will Google's latest mobile-friendly update affect your website?

How will Google's latest mobile-friendly update affect your website?

On April 21, Google finally launched the mobile-friendly algorithm update that they have been warning about for last two months. Even though there will inevitably be websites that lose a significant amount of traffic, this update is not intended to punish any single site. The primary motivation behind this change is Google’s desire to improve user experience for all mobile users. 

Google feels the pain of mobile users when they click on a result after a Google search, and then are unable to interact with the website. To counteract this negative experience, Google is just removing these results from mobile search in favor of websites that give a better experience to users. 

While this update has been named “Mobilegeddon” in the press, it’s still very unlikely to be a true Armageddon for any website. Here are a few things that are important to highlight which are especially pertinent to know if you have been negatively impacted by the algorithm update. 

  1. Google is the ultimate arbiter of mobile-friendliness, and they are very clear about what is required in order to be considered mobile friendly. To see if your site or pages are up to snuff, they have a very easy testing tool that will tell you exactly what the issues are with any non-mobile friendly page which we have provided below.
  2. This algorithm update only impacts results shown to users on mobile phones. Results for users on tablets and desktops are not impacted, and therefore your level of concern over any negative changes you experience should be reflective of how much mobile phone traffic you typically see from Google. If your site only has a fraction of mobile phone users referred by Google search, it may not be worth the investment to make changes on your website.
  3. The mobile-friendly update is run on a page-by-page basis, so even if you are not able to make your entire site mobile friendly, any page that you do make mobile-friendly will still benefit from the improvements you can make. 
  4. The algorithm is a real-time dynamic update, which means that if you missed the cutoff date of April 21, you can still recover any lost traffic whenever your site or pages do become mobile-friendly. 

Regardless of whether you are impacted by the update, it is still always a good idea to improve user experience by making your website more mobile-friendly. Finally, even if your non-mobile-friendly website does not see its traffic plummet over the past month, it does not mean that it won’t still drop later. Google has said that this algorithm update will take many weeks to roll out and it will be a while before we see how things shake out.