Why is Google Updating Their Algorithm?
It’s all part of their ever-continuing effort to make it easier for users to find the most relevant and timely results, regardless of the device they’re searching from. While past updates to their search engine algorithm have made it easier for mobile users to find mobile-friendly websites, this latest step appears to be a far more drastic measure towards changing the shape of Google and improving their product to keep up with the times.
After the update goes into effect, Google will begin weeding out non-responsive websites and making them harder for mobile users to find in their results pages.
What Does This Mean for Your Website?
The good news is that, even if your site isn’t responsive, this latest update will only affect your mobile search rankings. The bad news is that it’s definitely going to affect your mobile search rankings, which are just as important – if not more important – than your desktop search rankings.
While Google has yet to announce specifics in regards to how they’ll punish websites that aren’t optimized, they did state that the update “will have a significant impact on [their] search results.” Since Google doesn’t usually extend a warning like this in the lead-up to updating their algorithms, it’s safe to assume that the warning should be heeded unless you want to see a drop in your PageRank, customers, and conversions.
While companies in the past could still get by with a non-responsive website, a non-responsive website will soon be a non-option. With roughly 30% of today’s web traffic coming from mobile users and an overwhelming majority of them clicking the first link on a results page, a responsive website will soon be a requirement.
How Can You Continue to Rank?
The first step is seeing if your website is mobile-friendly. Thanks to Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test, it’s as easy as inputting your URL. If it passes the test, you should be all set. If it fails, you’ll want to have your website analyzed as soon as possible to determine which design areas are posing the greatest detriment. From there, you can begin addressing them accordingly by having your site redesigned by a professional web developer.
In addition to avoiding a significant penalty from Google, a mobile-friendly website will prove invaluable towards attracting new customers and improving your site’s overall functionality. While it’s one thing to have a website, it’s another to have one that caters to your customers and won’t prevent you from reaching new ones.
If you’d like to learn more about the benefits and importance of having a responsive web design, check out our blog post on good UX and good UI.