Starting from 21st April Google are expanding their push for responsive, mobile friendly websites. Searches in all languages worldwide will be affected.
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.
Google rarely provide such detail when changing their algorithms. Nor do they use terms as strongly as “significant impact” or provide a date for when the algorithms will be implemented.
Google’s intentions have been clear in recent months. They have been recommending website owners optimise their sites for mobile. Google has been long touting they prefer responsive web design and could impact future rankings. We recently wrote an article on this topic entitled “Google loves responsive web design”.
Google recently introduced a mobile friendly label to search results, sending warnings to website owners through Google Webmaster Tools.
From 21st April, Google will be taking this push one step further. Websites optimised for the users device will benefit from an improved ranking. Sites that are not mobile friendly could see a dramatic decline in mobile rankings.
Google have provided a tool to check if your website is mobile friendly. On Google Developer Tools you can see how your website rates.
It isn’t clear if responsive websites will be preferred over dedicated mobile sites. We can make an educated assumption with Google long touting responsive web design as their preferred solution, it will have an impact.