mobile phones

Digital Marketing

Non-Mobile Responsive Websites will be Affected by New Google Algorithm

ChangSheng Sze Tho   27 Mar , 2015  

Have you heard?

From April 21st 2015, Google will implement a change in its ranking algorithm to penalise non mobile responsive websites.

The single most important Google algorithm change in 2015 is about to arrive. Google will include mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal, which they have hinted since last year, and now it is here to stay.

According to Google, “Starting April 21, we will be expanding our use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal, meaning more mobile friendly sites in search results.”

What does it mean?

It means your ranking in the Google search results will be affected straight away. You will find a drop in ranking if your website in not mobile friendly.

People are now become more dependent on mobile devices for browsing information over the internet. In fact, Singapore has one of the highest numbers of mobile users in the world where one person uses more than one device. According to a report, with 8.3 million devices, a population of 5.47 million, number of mobile devices used by one person in Singapore is about 1.57. The percentage of people using mobile devices to access the internet is 43%.

On an average, more than 40% your web traffic are using mobile devices to surf the websites.

However, Google has not clearly stated that the new algorithm change will only affect rankings in mobile search or it will affect desktop searches as well.

When about 40% of your web traffic will be affected, you can imagine its impact on your business. No algorithm update since Google panda or penguin so far has affected that much web traffic.

However, knowing Google’s direction, which is to provide relevant content and the best user experience for all its users, you can bet that even on desktop searches, the signal will actually affect your rankings one way or the other.

One thing is for sure, for mobile searches, the first page will be only ranking with websites that are responsive to mobile devices.

What should you do now?

Don’t panic, you still have some time to update your website before the big wave.

Test if your website is mobile responsive

There are various web applications to check if your website is responsive.

ResponsiveDesignChecker Website

A handy tool to see how your website will look across all screens.



Google’s very own Mobile Friendly Test

Futureworkz Mobile Responsive

Google has developed a tool for you to check if your website is mobile responsive according to their own standards.
They will even tell you what is wrong if you don’t meet their standards.

Ironically, some of their own sites did not meet their own mobile standard.

Google Developer mobile site

Google’s developers website fails its own mobile friendly test

Get your current/new web developer to build you a mobile responsive website

If your website is mobile responsive, awesome! Now you can sit back and wait for your competitors’ non responsive website to drop in rankings.

If not, go get your web developer to implement mobile responsive website for you. This should be a good chance to also consider if you need to revamp your website at the same time.

If your current web developer is missing or in any ways not able to fulfil your requirements, you should get a new developer.

Why you should do it?

Other than the big change that is happening and the fact that you do not want it to impact your rankings on the search engines, more importantly you should do it for the users that are visiting your website.

Most website owners anxiously chase after the latest SEO signals to make sure that they remain well ranked. However, the intention of the signals in the first place is to make sure you are catering well to your website user’s overall surfing experience. And that should be your utmost criteria for building a good and stunning website.

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Digital marketing strategist and co-founder of Futureworkz. He consults client in digital marketing and business strategies. A poker expert if he can maintain his poker face.