Today, Google has started ranking sites that are mobile-friendly higher in their search results.
The move, announced back in February, will have a “significant impact” on worldwide search results, the company said.
Google said: “As people increasingly search on their mobile devices, we want to make sure they can find content that’s not only relevant and timely, but also easy to read and interact with on smaller mobile screens.
“Starting April 21, we’ll use a web page’s ‘mobile-friendliness’ as one of many factors to help rank searches done on mobile devices.”
The shake-up, named “mobilegeddon” by some, will apparently only affect mobile searches – those performed on desktop and tablet will not change.
Website owners can check whether their site is mobile-friendly here.
According to research from Somo, a number of major brands were not prepared for the change, including Versace, Next, American Apparel, Daily Mail and RyanAir.
Google say it should let users get better relevant, high-quality search results that are optimised for their devices.
In a blog post, Google said: “When it comes to search on mobile devices, users should get the most relevant and timely results, no matter if the information lives on mobile-friendly web pages or apps. As more people use mobile devices to access the internet, our algorithms have to adapt to these usage patterns.”
In the February announcement, Google also said they were beginning to use information from indexed apps as a factor in ranking for signed-in users who have the app installed.
This move means Google may surface content from indexed apps more prominently in search.
And this week, the tech giant said they were beginning to let users download apps directly from mobile searches on Android.
For those who have implemented App Indexing, when indexed content from their app is relevant to a search performed on Google on Android devices, users may see a button to install the app.
Check whether your site is mobile-friendly using Google’s tool here.