The original mobile-friendliness factor rolled out on April 21, 2015 and affected websites’ rankings if it didn’t have a mobile site or a responsive design, or if that particular page wasn’t included in a separate mobile site. Sites were affected, 50% of non-mobile-friendly sites saw a loss in page rank, and many webmasters worked on implementing a responsive design to meet Google’s deadline.
Now, there’s a new deadline: May-ish. Most Armageddon predictions have a particular date but this update isn’t expected to be as severe as its first iteration so its announcement is a bit more relaxed. Google announced on its blog that the update to mobile search results will start in May. There’s no timeline on how long the rollout of this update could take and it’s good to keep in mind that this algorithm is used on a page-by-page basis.
Google prefaces the update to the algorithm with, “Getting good, relevant answers when you search shouldn’t depend on what device you’re using… Beginning in May, we’ll start rolling out an update to mobile search results that increases the effect of the ranking signal to help our users find even more pages that are relevant and mobile-friendly.”
What it means for you
If your site is already mobile-friendly or responsive, breathe easy as this update won’t impact your site, though Google does provide a reminder that high quality content is a very strong signal and can outweigh the mobile-friendly factor. In short, make sure your website has quality content that can be read on any device.
Need to test your website? See if your website passes Google’s mobile-friendly test!