Google’s April 21st Mobile Friendly Website Deadline
By adding this mobile-friendly designation to websites that were built with a responsive approach to best support different screen sizes and devices, Google was acknowledging the fact that searchers using mobile devices want to see results that are suited to those devices.
When Google first announced these changes, they also said that they saw “these labels as a first step” and that they were “experimenting with using mobile-friendly criteria as a ranking signal.” At the time, I predicted that there would be a day when Google would, indeed, begin using mobile support as an important of their ranking algorithm. Well, that day has come.
April 21 Is Mobile-Friendly Website Day
In a recent announcement, Google stated that “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.”
This is a huge deal. It essentially means that, starting next week, Google will be rewarding sites that are mobile-friendly and thereby penalizing those that are not. If you are among the many companies that has yet to invest in redesigning their website to make it responsive, then not only is your site behind the times, but as of April 21st, it will also be that much harder to find in Google’s rankings.
Do Not Panic…But Take Action Now
If your site is not ready for this important mobile-friendly deadline, do not panic. Your site will still be listed in Google, even if your rankings slip. Now is the time for action and to stop putting off your site’s much needed transition to a responsive layout that support all devices - from desktops to tablets to smartphones and beyond. Yes, this will require a redesign of your website and an investment on your part, but if you want an increasingly mobile-centric customer base to be able to find your site and business online, then you cannot put this transition off any longer.