Our opinion on the mobile responsive google algorithm update:
In the spring of 2015, Google had an algorithm update called “Mobilegeddon” which expanded Google’s use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal. At that point a ton of search engine marketing companies (some more seedy than others) started blowing up emails and phones with end of the world rhetoric regarding search rankings and mobile/tablet responsiveness.
The Google algorithm update supposedly rewarded mobile-friendly websites and penalized those that aren’t fully optimized for mobile in mobile search results. We haven’t noticed any sort of drastic SEO “penalties” on our handful of non-responsive client websites for not having a mobile responsive site. However, if your website site is stuck in the 80’s and is difficult or annoying to browse from a mobile device, you might be alienating visitors and increasing bounce rates. Bounce Rate: the percentage of visitors to a particular website who navigate away from the site after viewing only one page.
We don’t have a large enough market sample to come up with a concrete penalty, although we do have a supposition that some sites (online stores) might be more penalized than static brochure style sites.
AudienceBloom.com has access to a statistically significant market sample and stated: “After an analysis of more than 15,000 of our customers’ websites, here’s what we found: Websites that aren’t mobile optimized had an average of 5% decline in organic traffic.”
Are you ok with a potential 5% loss in organic traffic? Not to mention an increased click rate if your users have to flip their phone back and forth from portrait to landscape and pinch and zoom? That is up to you.
If your web site screams 2009, perhaps you should consider modernizing your site for ease of use. If you’re limited by the technology you have in place, it may even be time to move to a modern website platform such as WordPress that delivers a responsive experience without high web design costs.
The undeniably best experience for your visitors and your own website rankings and performance is to implement responsive design. Responsive design makes your page adapt to the visitor and will display information that is sized and zoomed appropriately so it’s easy to read on whatever device he or she is using.
Note: For customers who use INC Tech for your WordPress website development, you automatically get responsive design included with your custom website. At INC Tech we think a website should be mobile-friendly by default and look beautiful for visitors from any device.