Responsive websites meet Google’s April 21 deadline

01.05.2015

In case you missed it, Google made a major change to its mobile search results on April 21. It was no secret, with Google openly advising of the change in the months prior to allow business owners time to get their website up to standard by making it responsive. The change was also widely publicised on blogs and social media by enthusiasts and professionals following online trends. It started as a rumour and flourished into a full-blown news story early this year. We first mentioned the likelihood of the change in September and kept close tabs on it ever since.

We’ve got a roundup of what the change was, why it happened and what you need to do now.

What was the “April 21 deadline” for Google’s mobile search results?

Google openly flagged April 21 as a date when it was going to update its search formulas in favour of responsive websites in mobile search results. This change has not affected desktop search results – it is purely a mobile search update. It means that mobile search results are being reshuffled to ensure responsive, mobile-friendly sites appear at the top of the search results list. The change has been dubbed “mobilegeddon” by many observers.

Why did Google make this change?

Let’s remember Google is a global authority on information. When we ask it a question, it endeavours to give us the best possible answer. With the dramatic increase of smart phone usage, it has become important for us to read the answers on the go, on a much smaller screen than our desktop computer. This is where user experience (UX) comes into the equation. Google wants you to have positive UX as well as finding the best possible answer.

As users, collectively we have driven the importance of mobile-friendliness and Google is just responding accordingly.

Search Engine Watch published an online article in September 2012, titled: 72% of Consumers Want Mobile-Friendly Sites: Google Research. We believe this percentage to be much higher now, in 2015.

What should I do?

If you don’t have a responsive website, it’s absolutely not too late. In fact, we believe you will start seeing the benefits of getting a responsive website soon after doing so.

Even if you haven’t experienced a drop in your mobile rankings and business is ticking along as usual, it’s possible you will still be affected as Google continues to crawl and re-index sites. It’s also well worth remembering that going responsive isn’t just for your benefit and the benefit of your Google rankings, it’s also for the benefit of your customers and potential customers. A positive UX will help compel users who visit your website to take desired action, such as call, enquire, buy.

A big congratulations to all GOOP clients who have already upgraded or are confirmed in our upgrade queue. We are working hard to get these done ASAP. If your site is not responsive, please contact us to discuss your options!