April 21, 2015 — mark it on your calendar. It’s the day Google will start using mobile friendliness as a ranking signal, which means that if you’re site isn’t mobile friendly, you may see a significant drop in rankings. Mobile rankings.

When I first read the headlines, it sounded as though websites would see a major drop in Google rankings if they didn’t have a mobile-friendly version of the site available to mobile users. Period.

Now that the veil is slowly lifting, or maybe I’m just paying closer attention, it’s clear that Google’s new mobile friendliness ranking algorithm affects mobile rankings. Period. That’s makes more sense. In fact, I’m somewhat surprised that Google’s mobile algorithms don’t already take mobile friendliness into account as a ranking factor. I mean, the fact that mobile sites don’t have to be user-friendly to get good rankings is the equivalent of saying that regular desktop websites don’t have to be user-friendly to get good rankings. And that’s just crazy.

Is your site is mobile friendly?

That’s not up for debate, by the way. Just because you think it’s mobile-friendly doesn’t mean Google agrees. Fortunately, there’s a free mobile-friendly test.

Google Mobile-Friendly TestIf you passed, great! If not, you’d better get a move on. The mobile-friendly algorithm will roll out worldwide, in real-time, in less than a month. And the last thing you want is for your competitors to snatch up all those coveted rankings that could have been yours.

Ready to get started? Check out Google’s 7 most common mobile mistakes.

Need help writing short, punchy headlines and calls to action for your new mobile site? I can help, just give me a buzz.

Watch the video:

Update Alert! (March 25/15)

Since posting this a few hours ago, we’ve discovered some new facts around Google’s Mobile-Friendly algorithm:

  • Its impact is expected to be significantly larger than Panda or Penguin.
  • It will roll out page by page in real-time, which should take about a week to complete.
  • There are no degrees of mobile-friendliness in this algorithm– you’re either mobile friendly or you’re not.

Second Update Alert! (March 27/15)

Google News rankings will not be impacted by Google’s new mobile-friendly algorithm. At the 23-minute mark of a Google+ hangout yesterday, the following question was asked:

Is the mobile friendly change also going to affect Google News?

Google News community manager, Stacie Chan, said, “As of now, Google News is not committed to making that change … just yet.”

Third Update Alert! (April 6/15)

The mobile-friendly algorithm will only impact searches done on smartphones. That means the algorithm does not impact desktop searches and it does not impact tablet searches. Smartphones only.