The Deadly Consequences For Non Mobile-Friendly Websites [2018 Update]

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deadly consequences non mobile friendly websites & mobile first index

Three years ago we warned about the deadly consequences for Non-Mobile Friendly websites.

Google made an official announcement on February 26, 2015 that it will begin favoring mobile-friendly websites in search results. According to Google “This change will affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide and will have a significant impact in our search results.” With this update, there is good news and bad news for non-responsive design/non mobile-friendly websites.

Fast forward three years, and this post serves as a ‘last-call’ warning. In 2018, your website needs to be mobile-first — a website that is designed for mobile users right from the start. Also what this comes down to is that Google will index your mobile version first, even if your desktop content is perfectly optimized!. If your website isn’t mobile-friendly, you run the risk of not being found in Google searches!

Bad News:

  • Google will see your website as non mobile-friendly or mobile-friendly. There is no middle-ground.
  • All signals point to having very limited visibility in search results if your website isn’t mobile-friendly.
  • If the text is too small to read on mobile or the links on the page appear too close together your page will be flagged as ‘not mobile-friendly’.

Good News:

  • Once changes are made, it should reflect immediately and the rankings should return fairly quickly.
  • If your website is already mobile-friendly, you’re likely to have a leg up on the competition!

What To Do Next:

Being just a mobile responsive website isn’t enough, you need to make your websites Mobile First. But why take the extra step to make your websites Mobile First?

  1. Google Will Index Mobile First Sites

Currently, Google looks at the desktop version of a website and then ranks the mobile site according to that information. Once this update rolls out, Google will start looking at your mobile website and from that, will rank the desktop version. Why should you care how Google ranks pages? If you want to be on the first page of Google search results, then it’s crucial that you have top rankings.

  1. Increase in Conversions

More than half of all searches done on Google are done on a mobile device and nearly all location based searches are carried out on mobile.

According to Google, 89% of people are likely to recommend a brand after a positive brand experience on mobile. So the easier it is for users to navigate through your mobile site, the more conversions and returning customers you will get.

You can also check your individual webpages to see if they are mobile-friendly by using Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test Tool.

You should also keep an eye on the Mobile Usability section in your Google Webmaster Tools account. It will give you a list of pages with errors.

There’s no better time than now to make these important changes to your website. Embrace this algorithm change and seize the opportunity to outrank your competitors as they see their rankings fall for failing to adapt to the changing and rapidly growing mobile environment.

These changes will have a positive effect on your website.

They will obviously improve the mobile experience of your website, drive more mobile traffic and increase the time spent on your website. All positive signals for search engines like Google.

When Can We Expect Major Changes?

As of March 26th, 2018, Google is migrating sites that follow the best practices for mobile-first indexing.

  • Google is notifying websites that are migrating to mobile-first indexing through their Webmaster Tools Search Console.
  • Site owners will see significantly increased crawl rate from the Smartphone Googlebot.
  • Google will show the mobile version of pages in Search results and Google cached pages.
  • Starting in July 2018, slow-loading content will be down-ranked in desktop and mobile searches.

In the coming months and beyond, you’ll be hearing ‘mobile-first’ quite a bit. This means you need to unlearn some old habits.

Think mobile no matter what, even if 99.9% of your customers view your site via desktop. The bottom line is a mobile friendly site leads to an improved user experience which ultimately leads to more sales.

If you have any questions or concerns about your website’s mobile-friendliness, please contact us or give us a call at 626.400.4511. Ready Artwork has many specialties but building mobile optimized websites is definitely one of them!

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