Google Penalizing Non-Mobile-Ready Sites (Starting in April 2015)

What does this mean? Google rolled out new algorithms that change rank (that means penalize or down-rank) for sites that aren't optimized for mobile devices. You may not have noticed, but they have even been telling mobile users which sites are responsive in their SERPs (search engine results pages), so that users can choose results that provide a better user experience.

If your site isn't mobile-friendly, you need to get it ready for smartphone users -- ASAP, to avoid losing readership / customers. (And, of course, to access the millions of smartphone users you want to interact with). If you're not sure your site is mobile-ready, at William Kelly Design we can perform a simple test for you and give you Google's results.

The message about rolling out ranking changes was embedded in a post back in 2013 to little fanfare -- that is until they actually started doing in April of 2015.  READ POST

So it's not an ill-founded rumor being spread by SEO companies or caffeine-crazed techies. The post itself covers "common configuration mistakes" and Google's recommendations. In other words, it lays out how Google wants you to set your site up for smartphone users. Google wants everyone who searches for anything on Google to have a "positive user experience". Very Zen of them.

So they're not going pull up sites that render for mobile with 404 pages (page not found) or faulty redirects in the first page of mobile search results -- they're going to down-rank those sites.

The new algorithm will also severely penalize the use of Flash (why is it still around?). Google (following Apple's lead -- Iphones and IPads won't display Flash content), who used to love you, decided you should depart this earth for good.  

Getting your site responsive (see Responsive article), i.e. smartphone-optimized and multiple-device friendly, means rebuilding your site whether you want to spend the money or not. But now, Google is making sure you can't afford not to do it.

The payoff -- consider the fact that most people sleep with their phones within arms' reach these days. You can reach potential customers 24-7 with a mobile-friendly site. Don't you want your site to be the one they use at breakfast or sitting you know where? 

I need it now. Seriously, If people they need an answer to something, they need it really, really fast, and the site that delivers it to where they are, when they want it, wins.

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