The latest Google update… how might it affect your website? #mobilegeddon

You may be aware that Google has recently released a new update to its algorithms, dubbed #mobilegeddon by the media. There has been much hype over this, with the media latching on to produce headlines warning of dire consequences for owners of non-mobile websites. Similarly, many website designers latched on to the story, perpetuating the rumours. Cynical thinkers might suggest they did that to take advantage of the hype and use it as a revenue-generating opportunity.

Google’s actual statement when they announced the release was as follows:
“Starting April 21, we will be expanding our use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal. This change will affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide and will have a significant impact in our search results. Consequently, users will find it easier to get relevant, high quality search results that are optimized for their devices.”

A more correct interpretation of this might be that Google has changed its algorithm to provide more relevant results to users of different devices. So they might use this to provide a list of mobile-friendly sites to people using mobile devices. It makes sense, after all.

This does not mean that traffic to non-mobile friendly sites will disappear overnight, but rather that traffic sent to those sites will come from desktop computers rather than mobile devices. So you may lose a proportion of your traffic if most of your users use mobile devices.

That said, if you do have a website which is non-mobile-friendly, then now may be a good time to consider investing in a new mobile-friendly site to avoid losing traffic.

You can find out if your website is mobile-friendly using this free Google tool:
https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/mobile-friendly/