Google Issues Warnings About Poor Search Rankings For Non-Mobile Sites

SMS Text
Google Issues Warnings About Poor Search Rankings For Non-Mobile Sites

Google has been making strides to improve mobile search results to make the SERPS a better place for users searching on smartphones and tablets.

One of the more recent changes have been displaying a “mobile-friendly” tag next to sites in mobile search results that have been confirmed to display correctly on a mobile screen.

To earn a mobile-friendly label your site needs to pass a set of criteria. You can find out if your site meet’s Google’s standards or not by using the mobile-friendly site testing tool.

Now, Google isn’t leaving it up to webmasters to test their own sites, the company has taken to sending warnings to users who have verified their site via Webmaster Tools when their site is not mobile friendly.

If Google detects an issue with your site in terms of how it’s displayed or how it functions on mobile, be prepared to get an email warning that your site may not rank as well in mobile search results.

The email will indicate which site and which pages the issues were detected on, along with steps on how to fix the issues. The email also links to documentation on how to make a CMS (like WordPress) mobile-friendly.

When Google introduced its mobile-friendly site criteria late last year it was indicated that it may be used as a ranking signal for the search algorithms in the future. Perhaps these warnings are an indication that Google intends to roll out a mobile-friendly algorithm update sooner than we all thought.

If that’s the case, at least Google is giving site owners fair warning. If there’s one thing you do to improve your site this year, making it mobile-friendly should be a high priority.

Matt Southern
Matt Southern has been the lead news writer at Search Engine Journal since 2013. His passion for helping people in all aspects of online marketing... Read Full Bio
Matt Southern
Subscribe to SEJ!
Get our weekly newsletter from SEJ's Founder Loren Baker about the latest news in the industry!
  • Kabdullahi

    Thank you for this insightful and timely article. Webmasters who do not consciously devote resources to the experience of mobile users will have no excuse when their search rankings are compromised during future Google algorithm updates.

    Bravo to you for sounding the alarm.

  • Prateek

    Very useful information.
    Google Blog on making mobile friendly websites helps a lot in making website mobile friendly.

  • Karen Woodham

    I’ve visited so many sites in the past that aren’t mobile friendly and if you don’t have a WiFi connection while visiting them, they are certainly greedy on your data. Let’s face it having a mobile site will certainly load a lot faster and keep the reader on your site.

    Nice that Google are giving warnings though, hopefully fellow bloggers will take heed of the warnings, if they get them!

  • Chris

    It’s 2015 and if your website isn’t mobile friendly, then you’re doing it wrong. Mobile-responsiveness should be a top priority for all business owners if they want to remain competitive on the internet.

  • Patrick McCoy

    It was only a matter of time and thanks for creating the article to share. I know we are only building responsive sites, yet our company site remains, non-responsive. Chef eats last type of deal. A good thing that we’re so busy, but a bad thing that we need to get to it and practice what we preach on the design and development front with our own website. This article is a motivator for sure! – Patrick

  • Jan-Jan Defante

    I really wont be surprise if having mobile friendly site is now already a big factor in search ranking since it does really help give our user or visitor a good experience to our site.

  • David Romero

    I think it is great that Google is notifying webmasters before they actually update their algorithm. I have already been going through some client sites just to make sure everything is functioning correctly. The guide and their analyzing tool makes it nice to make needed adjustments. Thanks for posting this much needed article.

  • Bill

    I think the results of how mibile friendly a site is are not being handled properly. I see many cases where a site suffers because they go mbile friendly & I dont think sites should be rewarded for making themselves worse for one format in order to accomodate another format. Tha tag can be a good thing, but only if the person searching has an option to favor mobile friendly sites over other format enhanced sites, or not. If this plays out as outlined here, I hope Bing or someone else handles this with a more intelligent approach.