Call Me, Tweet Me (If You Wanna Rank Me) – Google Update Favors Mobile Sites

July 24th, 2014 by Search Influence Alumni

UpdateAllTheCrustySitesImageRecently, Google released a blog about the importance of having a modern website that supports modern devices. Google has always put emphasis on the user’s experience. Now, they are trying to avoid sending users to sites that don’t promote a good user-friendly experience.

Google explains that flash sites will display a warning in their search engine results. This warning can be detrimental to business owners with flash sites, or any site Google deems not compatible with modern devices. If users see this warning in the search engine results pages they will be less likely to click on the site. Essentially, it does not matter if a business’s site is ranked at the top of the page or the bottom; if this error warning is displayed the click through rate will be obliterated and the traffic to the site will plummet.

How does this update affect you?

Google is pretty vague in their blog, using Adobe Flash sites as an example and leaving it open ended insinuating that other types of sites may also be affected. Even though Google doesn’t provide a list of sites that may be affected, this should be a wake up call for all site owners. Any business with a website that is not compatible with mobile devices should be prepared to make upgrades. At this point, not doing so can bring site traffic to a standstill.

Google is not saying it, but sites that are affected by this updated should expect to see their keyword ranking drop as well. With the stress put on user experience, it is unimaginable to think that Google would possibly allow sites that don’t promote a good user experience to rank higher than sites that do.

Next Steps!

Google recommends to all sites that don’t support various devices, to make the appropriate upgrades. Google references Web Fundamentals and Web Starter Kit, two resources that can be utilized by Webmaster to make the upgrade process smoother.

It will be interesting to see how this update will evolve in later updates, and to see its effects on ranking algorithms. Will Google begin to rank sites according to their responsive design? Will they begin to rank those sites with responsive designs higher than sites that don’t? We will just have to wait and see. Business owners with a site that is not does not support all devices should call a web developer straight away!

Image Source:
Thanks to Hyperbole and a Half for All The Things image.