When Google Speaks, Listen

In 2015, Google informed the digital marketing world that they will be expanding the use of “mobile-friendly” as a ranking signal for all languages worldwide and, more importantly, that having a mobile-friendly website will have a significant impact on your website’s Google Search Engine Results.

This was a not-so-subtle warning that if you ignore this algorithm change, you could lose your current ranking as well as the traffic to your website. We were warned that if you ignored this change that your site may not survive the “Mobilepocalypse.”

Many suffered then and I’m certain that there will be countless others that will suffer now if they haven’t made this shift.

In 2016, Google announced that they were going to be boosting the effects of the mobile-friendly algorithm that they launched back on April 21, 2015. Google said the update would happen “beginning in May,” and it “increases the effect of the mobile friendly ranking signal.” They also stated that if you are already mobile-friendly, you don’t have to worry because “you will not be impacted by this update.”

What’s the key phrase in their update?

“Ranking signal.”

It’s subtle and an almost “oh by the way” that if you don’t convert your site it’s not a big deal. But in reality, it’s one of the most important factors to determine where and if your site appears in a Google search engine results pages. Many have stated that the second update will probably roll out slowly, almost imperceptibly, and the sites who have ignored Google’s “suggestion” over the last two years will get crushed.

Why should you care? According to Google’s Mobile Path to Purchase Study:

  • 48% of internet research begins on search engines
  • 74% searched on mobile using a search engine
  • Consumers spend more than 15 hours per week on mobile research
  • 93% of people who used mobile to research go on to make a purchase
  • 94% of people with smartphones search for local information on their phones to check your site

Mobile has taken over the universe (if you hadn’t noticed). So if, for example, you’re an artist showcasing your new collection via your website, the worst thing you can do is to ignore its mobile friendliness. Here’s the link to Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test: search.google.com/search-console/mobile-friendly.