happy little biz

New Google rules for Mobile-friendly sites

A newer version of this post can be found here

Many people have been receiving emails from Google over the last few weeks, warning them their website is not mobile-friendly and it will negatively affect their SEO rankings.

But what does that mean for your website, exactly?

Well, a very large percentage of Google users are using their smartphones or other mobile devices. Google reports that 94% of mobile users in the USA use their phones to search for information, and 77% of mobile searches occur from the user's home or workplace. This means that people are showing a strong preference towards using their mobile devices to look things up, rather than using their laptop or desktop computers - even when the computer is right there in the room with them!

Because of this, Google is going to start penalizing sites that are not mobile-friendly by April 21, 2015. This means that if someone is searching for something on their phone, sites that are optimized for the mobile user will rank higher than sites that are not.

What does that mean for you?

Well, if your website is already mobile-friendly, nothing, really! You're already good-to-go.

If your website is not mobile-friendly, and you don't change that before the April 21 deadline, your site will start ranking lower when mobile users are searching Google. So even if you've always been on the first page when people search for your type of business, you won't be for long if you don't update your site.

Changing your site to be mobile-friendly isn't necessarily hard to do, though! For more information, check out Google's own mobile guide. You can also verify your own site is ready by going to this mobile-friendly test.

And a note for my clients: if I built your website, you're already mobile-friendly!

* The site mentioned in my header image, candicermt.ca, is only up so my previous massage therapy clients can find out about my career change. I'm not worried about creating a new mobile-friendly site for it as it's unnecessary.