Is a Mobile-Friendly Site Important for Strong Search Engine Results?


A search engine uses complicated algorithms to determine rankings for pages, but is mobile-friendliness a factor?

Does a search engine punish sites that are not mobile-friendly?

If you’re due for a website update or redesign, you may be wondering how to prioritize the changes according to your budget. You’ve been told that making your website user-friendly for mobile search is a critical priority, but you still have questions about just how important it is.

Consider this: 60% of all search traffic is through a mobile device.

And when paired with this next statistic, you’ll have no trouble remembering the reasons behind your decision to prioritize mobile-friendliness: Google reports that 60% of consumers are more likely to make a purchase from a mobile site.

But let’s answer the original question. Will your site be punished for not prioritizing mobile-friendliness?

Back in 2015, Google was wrestling with this concept. The search engine wanted to promote search quality but didn’t want to take the drastic step of punishing a business because they could not or chose not to prioritize putting resources towards mobile search.

Their solution was to issue what they called a “mobile-friendly update” and announced that rather than punishing sites that were not mobile-friendly, they would simply reward those sites that made it easy to navigate from a mobile device without zooming, scrolling or otherwise adjusting unreadable or unviewable content.

In 2016, Google further strengthened this policy, but the search engine always paired these updates with a reminder that mobile-friendliness is not the dominant factor in search results. User intent remains much more important, for instance. A site that is not optimized for mobile but matches the search best will be featured first.

What’s the Bottom Line? Your website isn’t being punished for not being mobile-friendly but it is absolutely affecting your search rankings. If you are in the midst of a website redesign or update, you should prioritize mobile optimization.

When it’s time for a web redesign, the process can get pretty sticky as various departments and advisors campaign for what should be prioritized. It may help you to talk with an experienced web design team. Contact us at SJC Marketing to get started.

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