Mobile Friendliness Now A Google Ranking Factor

Google’s Mobile-Friendly Search Engine Update

Small changes to Google’s algorithms are made on a regular basis, but every once in awhile a big change is announced. A huge announcement was made recently and all website owners should take notice. Beginning the week of April 21st, 2015, Google’s search engine results will use a website’s mobile friendliness as a ranking factor. This change will impact all of the roughly 25% of Google searches made from mobile devices. It is worth noting the percentage of Google searches with commercial potential varies dramatically depending on the business. Some businesses, such as coffee shops, see a much higher percentage of searches via mobile than other businesses. Knowing that the percentage of all searches done on a mobile device is increasing, this announcement is consistent with Google’s goal of providing the best user experience possible.

Google’s Mobile-Friendly Algorithm Changes

The exact impact of these changes are yet unknown, however, there is a lot of information available. According to Zineb from Google, the changes in the rankings will affect mobile search only, desktop searches will not be affected. We also know that Google’s personalized results are a closely tied to mobile devices. Google’s personalized searches are partly based on user history, and user history is partly based on Google’s search results, since top websites in the search are more likely to end up in the user history. This means if your website drops as a result of the update, the impact could be profound because your competition will benefit from the lasting impact the visit has on the user’s future personalized ranking results.


This update is clearly part of a big push by Google towards a deeper integration between search and the mobile experience, connecting data from your mobile device to help deliver the best personalized search results. For example, if you search for ‘chicken noodle soup recipes’ on Google in the future, you would also have the option to search your gmail with one click.

How To Make A Site Mobile Friendly

Many websites, small business sites in particular, are not mobile friendly. To find out if your site is mobile friendly use this tool.

If your site is not mobile friendly, you will need to talk to your web developers about the right solution for you. We have seen articles saying this Google update will require ‘responsive’ design; we don’t believe this is true. There is more than one way to make a website ‘mobile-friendly.’ Most developers recommend ‘responsive’ design, so it’s probably a better choice than building a separate mobile site and putting it on a subdomain such as There is no separate site with responsive design; instead the layout is dynamic. Responsive sites load the same page regardless of the device used. The page is designed to check the width of the device making the request and respond with a layout designed for the device.

Does It Really Matter If My Site Is Mobile Friendly?

“Having a great mobile site is no longer just about making a few more sales”… “It’s become a critical component of building strong brands, nurturing lasting customer relationships, and making mobile work for you.” stated Google.
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