Businesses must have their websites mobile-friendly by 21 April, or face a significant drop in their online revenues, according to a UK search expert.
With Google stats showing that around 50 per cent of searches are on mobile devices, Gareth Evans of leading digital agency Equator has claimed that businesses failing to prepare for the April deadline will suffer a major dip in website traffic.
Google announced recently that a new mobile-friendly ranking factor will be added to the mobile search ranking algorithm. This means that websites which are not optimised for mobile will be penalised and listed much lower in search results.
Evans said: “The fact that Google has pre-warned us about this upcoming update emphasises just how much of an impact this could have on a site’s performance across mobile search. For businesses that rely on location specific searches, such as hotels and restaurants, these changes could potentially have a major impact on revenues.”
Despite the warning, Evans has welcomed the changes by Google, claiming that it will drive improved user-experience for consumers. He said: ““The update is Google’s next step in trying to improve mobile usability and represents a big shift in the way that Google manages search results across mobile devices.”
Evans points those looking to prepare to recent advice published by Google for developers, which highlights common mistakes on mobile websites. He said: “The guide provides recommendations on how to fix problems and improve mobile usability. This is a good starting point for organisations looking to make the necessary steps in advance of the update.”
Equator employs around 120 people at its studio in Glasgow. The agency also has an office in New York, which opened in 2013.