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Mobile search results - will your site appear?

posted 16 Apr 2015, 11:05 by Stephen Hind   [ updated 20 Apr 2015, 03:01 by Joy Burnford ]

Google decided to make a large change in its mobile search results: Google announced in February 2015 that it was checking all sites for mobile friendliness and if it found your site was not mobile friendly then on 21 April 2015 the site would no longer appear in mobile Google Search results pages.

Did you know that mobile users now exceed desktop users? According to a report by comScore the tipping point has now happened and mobile marketing is more important than ever.

What does this mean for your site?​​ 

Let's make one thing very clear: it does not mean you will stop getting indexed. Google Search will continue to index your site as it has previously. What it does mean is if your site is flagged as not mobile friendly it will get down ranked or not appear at all when someone searches from a mobile device​. This change does not affect desktop web searches, only mobile searches results will.  Google Search does not want to give a mobile user a mobile search result that does not work on mobile. This makes perfect sense but only having two months to check mobile friendliness and make necessary changes is a tall order for many organisations.  

How do we know if Google Search thinks our website is mobile friendly or not?

You must check your site! Use Google's Mobile-Friendly Test to see if your site works on mobile. If your site passes the test you should see a result like the first and a fail like the second image:

Mobile friendly test pass
Mobile friendly test fail

What can you do to fix it?

Well for some organisations you may not need to do anything (or very little): if you use one of the many popular and modern content management systems or website creation tools, like Squarespace, Wordpress or Google Sites, it may already make your site mobile friendly.  Here at DrPete Technology Experts we use Google Sites and when we launched our new website design we made sure our site was mobile friendly (please have a look on your mobile phone and see how the site changes).  These tools give a great head start on making your site mobile ready, but since you can add nearly anything you want you may add something that mobiles don't like (remember Adobe Flash? Yeah? There's no mobile support for that any longer!) You need to make a manual check of all your pages just to make sure your site appears in a workable fashion.

For other organisations, however, your site may not work on mobile phones at all, and Google Search knows this and your site will not appear in mobile search. 

If you find your site in this situation why not contact us and we can advise on the options available to you.