Google Turns Up the Dial on Mobile Friendly Websites
For the last year or so Google has started to lobby for the design of mobile friendly websites. Back in April of 2015 they stated that mobile website’s would be included as part of the ranking signal. Not to many took Google at their word and for the most part there wasn’t much of a shift from what most could see.
Here is one of Google’s original notices about this (here). This notice was specific to influencing mobile results only and would weight responsive sites higher. Again, there wasn’t much buzz and to be honest, I didn’t see much change either.
Fast forward 1 year and Google is pushing a bit harder on this front. They posted an official blog post on their blog stating that come May, 2016 those signals will get stronger. https://webmasters.googleblog.com/2016/03/continuing-to-make-web-more-mobile.html They mention within the post that their working on making the web better and more digestible for mobile devices.
Looking at this process over the past year I commend Google. They came out with an initial notice over a year ago and let us know it was going to become a small factor / signal. They gave us plenty of time to make our website’s better. Thank goodness my blog is responsive!
1 year later and the signals will increase. I assume that May will reflect the dial being turned up a bit, but this won’t be the final roll out.
My recommendation is to push towards mobile responsive as soon as you can unless factors prevent you from doing so. Also know that mobile responsive is not the same as a separate mobile website. A responsive website is one site that adapts to different devices, platforms and browsers.
I also recommend using Google’s Mobile Friendly Tool to get a better understanding of what’s needed for this change.