Smartphone users are a significant and fast growing segment of Internet users, and at Google they want them to experience the full richness of the web. As part of these efforts to improve the search experience for smartphone users and address their pain points, they plan to roll out several ranking changes in the near future that address sites that are misconfigured for smartphone users.
Responsive design and mobile websites are nothing new. And to this point, the value and reason behind making sure that your website offers a mobile friendly experience has primarily been supported by the steady rise of mobile traffic (which tripled worldwide from 2011 to 2014) that every marketer has seen in recent years. Simply more users are visiting your site on mobile devices, so you need a website experience that’s optimized for these devices.
But now Google has made having a mobile optimized experience even more important by making it a key ranking factor for searches performed on mobile devices. After all, Google has been setting up for this for quite some time, seeing as how search results on mobile devices have been different from desktop results for a while now.
So does not having a mobile site affect your SEO? Absolutely. Although for now only searches performed on mobile devices are going to be directly impacted. But Google has time and again in recent years shown us how much they value and pay attention to the mobile web.
Let’s now look at one of the most common mistakes
Faulty redirects : Some websites use separate URLs to serve desktop and smartphone users.This kind of redirect disrupts a user’s workflow and may lead them to stop using the site and go elsewhere. Even if the user doesn’t abandon the site, irrelevant redirects add more work for them to handle, which is particularly troublesome when they’re on slow mobile networks. These faulty redirects frustrate users whether they’re looking for a webpage, video, or something else, and Google ranking changes will affect many types of searches.
As Google loves to remind the world, they look at search from the user perspective. When it comes to mobile, if the content on your site serves its purpose and performs well with users hitting it on different devices, then this change shouldn’t have an impact on your rankings. But if your site lacks a good mobile experience, and you have competitors with great responsive sites, Google is likely going to use these ranking changes to deliver your competitors’ sites instead of yours on certain devices.
Even with this change , the real reason to make sure your site has a great mobile experience shouldn’t be to satisfy Google – it should be for the users. But if you haven’t already addressed it, expect a change in your rankings on mobile searches on Google.