Be Mobile-Friendly or Drop Rank says Google

If your website is not mobile friendly, you experienced a significant drop in mobile search rankings on April 21, 2015 due to Google’s algorithm update.

In its quest to provide the best experience for its users, Google launched the most significant consumer-facing algorithm update in its history. Dubbed Mobilegeddon by many in the marketing industry, the update places higher value on mobile-friendly and responsive design websites for searches conducted on mobile devices. Consequently, sites that have been built without a responsive design or have not been optimized for mobile saw their placement in search results drop below sites that Google views as easy to read and navigate on mobile phones. The timeframe for regaining lost rank remains uncertain, but businesses may find it difficult to regain page one placement once penalized (dropped in rank) by Google.

The recommended course of action is for all businesses modernize their websites and optimize them for mobile.  Everyone wants visitors to see their sites properly so they can have a good experience. After all, this is the first impression of your business, so you should care about that customer experience, even if it is Google who is basically demanding action on your part.

Why now you may ask.  This update comes in conjunction with reaching the tipping point in mobile searches in January 2015.  2015 was the first time ever that mobile searches exceeded desktop searches, a clear indication of the shift in popularity and functionality of mobile devices.  This trend will continue as we become more mobile and demand devices that are even more functional and more compact.  Think Apple Watch, for example.  Imagine your whole desktop site displaying on an Apple Watch.  The fonts would be far too small to read and without large clickable buttons you would be unable to navigate the site.  Mobile-friendly sites effectively address this issue.

How do you know if your site is mobile-friendly? The quickest way is to Google your website name – from a mobile device – and look at the result. If you see “Mobile-Friendly” in grey lettering below your URL, congratulations.  Google is happy to give you higher rankings in mobile searches. If you don’t see those words, try this simple test that takes about one minute.  This one can be done on either your desktop computer or mobile device. Search Google for MOBILE FRIENDLY TEST.  On the next screen, just follow the instructions and enter your URL in the box provided and then give it a minute to analyze your site. You will know immediately how Google views your page and whether it gives its seal of approval or not. If it fails the test, you will see the reasons and you’ll know what areas need work to get up to Google’s standards.  If it passes, you’re good.

We recommend you take a look at your site’s analytics to determine how much traffic comes from mobile devices. If you’re like most businesses, you’ll see that a significant amount of volume comes via these little displays, which means it is time to update and become mobile-friendly. Mobile searches will only grow from here, so procrastination now will hurt the traffic you’ve been enjoying.



About the Author


Bill Ackerman is the Chief Marketing Officer at Green Mountain Marketing & Advertising. Prior to joining Green Mountain, Bill was a Certified Hotel Administrator, and spent 34 years in senior leadership at hotels, restaurants and conference centers across the country from Texas to New England, and most recently as the Head of Retail at The Vermont Country Store for over 9 years. Bill has dedicated his effort to promoting Vermont’s unspoiled way of life and its natural beauty as a four season destination. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Vermont Chamber of Commerce, Rutland Region Chamber of Commerce, Vermont Convention Bureau, Hospitality Advisory Board of Stafford Technical Center, and is an advocate-leader for Vermont’s Aging Worker Initiative. Bill can be reached at