Don’t be scared of the scare tactics
You might have already seen headlines screaming “Are you ready for Mobilegeddon? Google’s deadline is April 21st,” “Be Careful with Google’s Mobile Armageddon” and “Your website is doomed if it is not mobile-friendly.”
However, unlike Google’s earlier algorithm changes, websites can upgrade their level of mobile-friendliness whenever they want, in an effort to list their websites on a top spot. April 21st deadline is just the date for the algorithm to roll out, and not a date that your website will disappear from Google SERPs! What you need to know:
- If you already have a mobile or mobile-friendly website, you shouldn’t see a drop in rankings due to this update
- Understand that this change is for mobile search only and will not affect your tablet or desktop rankings even if your site is not mobile-friendly
- It still makes a big difference as only smartphone searches contribute to half of the Google searches!
- Check your pages with the Mobile-Friendly Test
- Mobile friendly feature is only one of many different criteria that Google uses to rank pages, not the ONLY one
- Most importantly, websites can adjust on the fly!
So to recap, Google isn’t suggesting that non-mobile websites will completely disappear from the rankings in mobile searches, but they will most certainly be penalized for not being mobile. If your site is not mobile-friendly, and is on the top of SERPs today for mobile search, the drop after April 21 could be substantial – especially when you consider the fact that websites listed on the top usually get 20% to 30% of clicks and then there is a big drop observed for those placed on second or third position (5% to 10% of the clicks) and all the websites listed below these positions don’t even get 1%.