Over the past decade, mobile devices have become the primary way we consume digital media, including apps, streaming videos, web surfing and social media. With 65 percent of people now using only their mobile devices leaves computers falling way behind with the remaining 35 percent.
Where does that leave search engines still prioritizing computer friendly websites? Google has decided not to find out. Today they announced they are going to primarily use the mobile version of a site’s content to rank pages from that site. This means “unresponsive” websites will eventually become completely irrelevant for search engines.
Responsive vs. Unresponsive (in case you are wondering)…
Responsive websites have an adaptable layout with fluid grids to seamlessly fit multiple screens. It is also a long term solution for most companies when designing a website.
Unresponsive websites are just plain old-fashioned sites that look small and static on a mobile device. This can be extremely frustrating for the user struggling to navigate the site.
In their release today, Google said “We understand this is an important shift in our indexing and it’s one we take seriously. We’ll continue to carefully experiment over the coming months on a small scale and we’ll ramp up this change when we’re confident that we have a great user experience. Though we’re only beginning this process, here are a few recommendations to help webmasters prepare as we move towards a more mobile-focused index.”
Although this seems like a bold move, Google claims they will be cautious in the early stages of their experimentation with their algorithms to ensure the best user experience for mobile and desktop. It is important to check if the mobile version of your website has enough content. Make sure the content is equivalent across different platforms. If you are building a mobile website, then consider finishing the project completely before launching it, since Google will prioritize websites with more content first.
Google offers a mobile-friendly test where you can check if your site is optimized for mobile devices and, therefore, has better options to get a better ranking on Google. I highly recommend using this useful tool!