Google is the world leader in search engine technology and is responsible for getting websites found when people look for specific topics. The company has a great deal of power and can shape the destiny of businesses all around the world. Every now and again they re-evaluate how they rank websites and what things are important to get sites to the top pages for specific searches. The latest update will be released on 21st April and will bring new changes to this.
The biggest aspect of the new algorithm is that it penalises sites that aren’t responsive to mobile browsers. This means that websites with old styling will take a hit in the rankings and could slip from their positions. Google wants sites to be mobile friendly because of the continued improvements in how people access and browse the internet. Desktop usage continues to fall as more people use modern devices like laptops, smart phones and tablets. The shifting user behaviour is shaping Google’s ranking strategy because it wants them to find sites that are easy to browse on any kind of device.
There are several ways you can make a website mobile responsive, ranging from adapting the current site to designing a completely new one on a separate URL. Before you start making changes you can check the responsiveness of your site with this helpful tool from Google (add link to https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/mobile-friendly/). Simply copy your URL into the tool and it will analyse how responsive the site is. If your site passes the check you don’t need to make any changes but if it fails you’ll have work to do to avoid getting penalised when the new changes come into effect.
The 21st April update could take up to a week to be introduced but once it does some sites may start to see their ranking positions fall. If this is the case it is because your site is not responsive. The majority of sites that are already mobile friendly will likely not notice an impact from the changes unless some of their competitors have failed to prepare their sites.