It's no secret that more people are using their phones and tablets to browse the web. What many of the owners of these sites might not know, is that Google is about to unveil an algorithm update that could significantly affect the rank of most established websites. As a webmaster who follows these updates obsessively, it's clear that this could be one of the biggest blows since the Penguin algorithm was initially rolled out.
Effective April 21st 2015, the search engine giant will begin factoring a website's responsiveness into its search results. If you're not familiar with what makes a website "responsive" I encourage you to read on.
What is a Responsive Website?
To understand what responsiveness is, you have to understand the way Google is looking at the way people browse the internet. Searches made via cell phones and mobile devices continue to increase, and as Google has stated many times, they want to offer the best user experience possible. A responsive website is one that seamlessly converts from desktop to mobile platforms, allowing users to enjoy fast page load speeds, clear menus and pages that are easy to navigate.
There are more than a few industries and websites that have very little use for a mobile-optimized website. Because of this algorithm update, however, these companies now have to essentially build a new site that is mobile-responsive in Google's eyes. We all know the future is and has been Internet Marketing, with the significance to being ranked on the 1st page of Google.
Not only is this time consuming and costly, it is yet another way in which Google is forcing smaller businesses to budget their website and online presence like a much larger company.
How Will this Affect My Website's Rank?
If your current website was not specifically optimized for mobile use and/or responsiveness, it could mean a substantial drop in rank. If you are on 1st page of Google, you can potentially drop off the 1st page. Of course, this is just educated speculation based on what's happened in the past, shortly after similar algorithm rollouts. The best way to find out is to contact your website developer to determine whether or not your site was built to be responsive.
Updating to a Google-friendly Responsive Website
I am urging everyone to upgrade to a responsive website in order to prevent what could be an even more costly decline in rank. I'm offering a free consultation and website audit to keep costs down while determining the most effective course of action. This is a serious and time-sensitive issue. If you have questions or concerns on how the changes could affect your business, please contact us at your earliest convenience.
Official announcement here: https://webmasters.googleblog.com/2015/02/finding-more-mobile-friendly-search.html