Google Mobile Deadline – The Sky is Not Falling

April 21, 2015 is the day Google launched their new “Mobile Friendly” ranking algorithm. We wrote about it in a previous blog post.

Google had many blog posts about it, even sending people emails through Webmaster Tools, and mentioning it in phone calls during AdWords support. Since Google has been harping on this topic so much, it has created quite the buzz for many website owners.

Unfortunately, in the “buzz” is also confusion, uncertainty, and doubt about what this all entails. A few highlights about what it means for websites…

  • This only affects searches performed on mobile phones. It does not affect tablet or desktop searches conducted by visitors.
  • Not having a mobile friendly page does not mean you are penalized. This is not a penalty.
  • This ranking factor is one of many Google uses. If you have great content that is on-topic for the searcher, it still may rank highly, even if it is not optimized for mobile.
  • This mobile friendly ranking is on a page by page basis. It is *NOT* applied to an entire site.
  • If your content and a competitor’s content is similar in ranking, and your competitor’s site is Mobile Friendly, a person searching on a cell phone may see the competitor’s site listed above yours.
  • Responsive design is *NOT* the only solution to this issue. Having a separate mobile view, or even a separate mobile site, is still valid and fine by Google. Responsive just makes it easier to maintain your look and feel in one location.
  • If you update a page in the future to be more mobile friendly, Google will see this in its next crawl of that page and update your ranking as applicable.
  • Google has stated it could take a few weeks for this all to shake out. It’s not an instant downgrade for non-mobile pages.

These are just a few things we’ve been asked about recently when it comes to this change by Google. For a more in-depth (and likely better) explanation, read these two links:

Mobilegeddon ChecklistSearch Engine Land

Google Looks To Ease Frustrations As Mobile-Friendly Signal Rolls OutWebProNews

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  1. Bobette Kyle says:

    Thank you for the helpful post. Can you point me toward a resource that more fully explains mobile views (as an option instead of responsive design or separate mobile site)? Thanks! ~Bobette

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