Google to favour mobile-friendly sites in search results

Anthony Caruana
22 April, 2015
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If your business website doesn’t automatically scale or reformat for mobile sites, be prepared for its search ranking to take a hit. Google has announced it will be ranking sites that aren’t mobile friendly lower than those that are optimised for smaller screens.

While on the face of things this doesn’t seem like a big deal it is very significant for Australian businesses.

Google has provided a tool for testing your website’s mobile readiness. But if the tool gives you a negative report, you’ll need to do some tweaking or risk losing your search ranking.

It’s not a surprising move. Recent trends have shown mobile traffic steadily increasing, to the point where mobile browsing has surpassed traditional computers. And with about two-thirds of Australian websites not being mobile-ready, the impacts could be significant. Even half of the largest 200 companies in the country will be hit.

In some cases, businesses have a mobile customer strategy through apps. For example, while pizza maker Dominos lacks a mobile-friendly site, they have an app so hungry people can create and order a pizza that way.

But for other businesses this could be significant. For example, let’s say Joe’s Plumbing is the best plumber in town but the company doesn’t have a mobile-ready website. His competitor, Max’s Plumbing doesn’t have a reputation for great quality but has a mobile-friendly website. Max’s Pluming will get a higher search ranking when people use Google to look for local plumbers. For some businesses, this could lead to significant business impacts.

On the flipside – website developers could see a significant increase in their busyness.

The change will start to take effect today.

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