Despite the hype, last year’s mobile-friendly update at Google failed to produce the overwhelming impact on non-mobile friendly websites that was initially predicted.
We may never know for sure if there’s any truth to the speculation that the original mobile friendly algorithm update was scaled back because of the overwhelming number of non-mobile-friendly websites that exist.
Regardless, if your website squeaked through without being impacted very much last time, that doesn’t mean you’re in the clear for the future. Google is getting ready to launch another algorithm update in May that will have a greater impact on websites that are not mobile friendly.
It’s important to keep in mind that this update affects websites on a page-by-page basis, not as a whole. Take a moment to determine the mobile friendliness of individual pages within your website using Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test. You can also check the Mobile Usability status of your entire website through Google’s Search Console (formerly Webmaster Tools).
Time To Build a Mobile Friendly Website
With the increasing rate of mobile adoption and shift in search engines giving priority to mobile-optimized websites, the time to upgrade is now. The best practice is typically to go with Responsive Design, however it is certainly not the only option. In our Google Mobile-Friendly Update Not So Friendly to Your Website? blog post last summer, we covered the options for migrating your website to a mobile friendly version, including Responsive Design, Dynamic Servicing and Separate URLs/Microsites.
Regardless of the approach you take, there are still a variety of signals, or ranking factors, involved in getting a web page to rank in search results, with intent of the query being a very strong signal. That means that a high-quality content page that is a good match for the user’s query could still rank high even if it is not mobile friendly. This further demonstrates why having quality content, a positive user experience and solid SEO in place are all critical to your website’s success in search.