Hi there, it’s After Digital’s resident SEO guru here (yes I’m still wearing those shades but at least the weather now warrants them). And yeah, you guessed it, this week’s topic is MOBILEGEDDON!

As of the 21st of April 2015, our friends at Google will be expanding the use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal, affecting mobile searches in all languages and, ultimately, having a significant impact on all search results. The clock is ticking.

To be honest, this latest update shouldn’t come as a surprise - Google has been warning webmasters for years now about the importance of having a mobile friendly web presence. You have to keep your fingers on the pulse when it comes to Google and its algorithm updates, but this one really is a biggy.


At least once in our mobile-using lives, we’ve all visited a site expecting to find what we’re looking for, only to be faced with text that is too small to read without a pinch and zoom manoeuvre and content that is cut off the page. This is far from the ideal user experience.

So, Google has taken the leap, upping the ante on mobile search and businesses being responsible for matching user expectations in the online space.

What we know so far....

Although Google has announced the update, they have been far from forthcoming about anything else, so it’s a little bit of a waiting game before all is revealed. However, here’s what we know so far:

  • Googlebot must be allowed to crawl CSS & JavaScript to pass the mobile-friendly test
  • Mobile friendliness is determined at page-level not sitewide
  • Tablets will not be affected by this update
  • Google is currently working on a dedicated mobile index

Most people are quick to point the finger at Google for making it seemingly harder and harder for companies to compete on an equal footing, but lets face it, this change can only be seen as a positive for all concerned. Not only are users more likely to engage on mobile devices it also affords the opportunity of smaller more agile companies to compete directly with the more established brands - hooray!

If you aren’t convinced yet, hopefully you’ll appreciate the benefits of mobile after seeing some of these top mobile stats:

  • 25% of web users are on mobile only
  • 70% of searches on a mobile device lead to action within the hour
  • Mobile purchases reached £8.2 billion accounting for 18% of total UK ecommerce sales
  • 1 in 4 mobile users will redeem coupons and vouchers via mobile devices

I know what you’re all thinking - what can I do to prevent this update from affecting my site? Fear not, your trusty SEO guru is on hand - what else am I here for right?!

NOTE: If you have been thinking about a responsive website for some time, you should act now to ensure you aren’t penalised by this latest algorithm update.

Responsive Design

As standard now in After Digital, we will only create mobile-friendly solutions (usually in the form of responsive websites) and are adamant that businesses consider the long-term implications of not doing so. With so many algorithm updates in the past and Google’s constant mobile mania, it was evident this would happen sooner rather than later. We are on hand to provide any advice but to get a little guidance in creating a mobile-friendly site, take a look at Google’s handy guide to mobile-friendly sites here.

If your website is given the tag ‘mobile-friendly’ you are in Google’s good graces. However, if you aren’t sure if you’re quite there yet, you can test your website’s pages using Google’s mobile-friendly test here.

Find out about more responsive design here.

We’ll be keeping you updated with the latest from Google when we know more so keep your eyes peeled for our updates. In the meantime, if you have any questions you want answered or if you need our help developing a responsive site, get in touch with us [email protected]