Google’s New Mobile-friendly Rules; It’s Not Y2K Again

The scheduled rollout of Google’s new mobile-friendly rules for mobile searches is less than 10 days away. Are websites rushing to convert to responsive design as Google intended to meet the 21 April roll-out of the new filter?

Apparently not. A recent Techcrunch survey by a marketing group that crawled Fortune 500 sites and evaluated them for mobile friendliness showed that overr 44% of the sites were not mobile-friendly. The data were similar to a survey we did last month on local companies in our San Diego metropolitan area. We found a similar number, 40%, of the companies in our survey were not mobile-friendly. We did some casual research among local contacts regarding the coming changes and what steps their marketing teams were taking to address them. We learned that several are in process on development that will produce responsive websites, just not necessarily before 21 April. This is not a Y2K scenario. There will be no doom or financial ruin. Only a company’s mobile results are affected by a site that is not mobile-friendly, the organic search rankings remain the same. If a company is in a really tight niche competitive market with very few players, it might not see any significant differences for the search phrases that matter.

Rushing into a mobile-friendly development simply to meet the 21 April deadline without taking a critical overall look at your website, then developing a plan and budget are important . Hacking your site or falling victim to cheap solutions is not recommended.

A measured approach to the problem makes good sense. Because making a website mobile-friendly will very likely require a re-design of the site, it is a good time to review the site’s effectiveness in projecting the company brand and messaging as well as evaluating the site’s effectiveness at converting a visit into action. Mobile design offerings a new canvas to work with, so be sure to take the time to really think what this means to your visitor and embrace the richness of what this can provide. If Google’s new rules moved some companies to replace legacy websites with modern responsive design, then it’s good for those companies, and good for the Mobile Visitor.