Straight from the horse's mouth


Responsive web design – what impact the google mobile friendly update had

  • By
  • on June 25, 2015

tags: Mobile, SEO

We have seen many trends and changes in the digital landscape over the last years. Responsive websites are certainly here to stay, and will only get bigger.

A well-known analyst made the bold statement in 2008 that internet traffic from mobile websites will overtake fixed internet access by 2014. We are well into 2015 and guess what…not only are we past the mobile vs desktop 50 -50 mark, traffic from mobile friendly websites is still growing like bamboo in your backyard. Speaking of which (bamboo) previous Google updates like Panda have not taken mobile responsiveness into their account. A google update from the 21st of April however did and is commonly referred to as Mobilegeddon…

Mobile friendly label

Following extensive testing, Google launched the mobile-friendly label in November 2014. Since that date websites that are either mobile responsive or have a dedicated mobile site will receive the mobile-friendly label on mobile search results pages.


Initial research has shown that people are getting to know what that label is all about. Users already steer towards clicking sites more based on the fact that searchers know they will end up on a website that is viewable and easy to navigate on their device.

Google algorithm update on mobile friendliness


If your site is not ready for the mobile web you probably don’t want to hear this news. From the 21st of April Google uses mobile friendless as one of their ranking factors. This means not being mobile ready will directly impact your ranking, and therefore the traffic you receive.

“Yes,” you say,” that might be true. But Google uses multiple factors to determine whether you rank on the first page of google or whether you don’t exist”.

Now that is all true, but Google also announced that with every future update, the mobile friendliness ranking factor will increase.

In addition to that, websites that have the mobile-friendly label (and therefore have been evaluated by the big G to be worthy of the mobile web) are now automatically ranking above those who are not mobile ready.

Impact of the mobile friendly rollout to date

The impact of the initial algorithm update has been more significant than first anticipated. Read up on some of the findings made by Stone Temple Consulting here.

Chances are this is just the beginning of what Google is planning and that the impact of the mobile friendliness ranking factor will get bigger and bigger with each update.

Your website is not mobile ready?

Should your site be mobile responsive or have a dedicated mobile site?

The answer is yes and could not be clearer (if you want to stay competitive in today’s competitive search engine results pages landscape that is).

How will your non responsive website be affected in the future?

  1. Less traffic due to people choosing to click on websites that have the mobile-friendly label.
  2. High bounce rate due to mobile internet users expectations of having a user friendly mobile site.
  3. From the 21st April 2015 your site has been getting penalized for not being mobile ready.
  4. Any future update will have further ranking penalties in store for your site.

We at drumbeat have specialised in mobile responsive website for 10 years now (Check out our work). If your site is not mobile ready you would have lost some ranking by now. The time is still right to act now, as any future google update will have larger impacts on your sites google rank.

Get in touch with us to have an obligation free conversation and quote on how we can help you with your site.