In late February Google announced that it would be expanding it's use of "mobile-friendliness" as a ranking factor. Starting from April 21st 2015 it will be placing more importance on whether or not a website is mobile-friendly when returning search results on mobile devices.
In a live question-and-answer session on Google+, Mary and Michael from Google's webmaster relations team answered webmasters' questions about the new ranking algorithm. Although the discussion lasted almost an hour, most of the points raised only served to confirm what we already know:
Later in the discussion there was also some more useful information to consider:
If you use Google Search Console (formerly Google Webmaster Tools), you should already have been notified by Google if they have detected mobile-usability issues with your website. Google has also provided a handy Mobile-Friendly Test for anyone to test their website and find out whether Google perceives it as being mobile-friendly. You can also receive a more in-depth report about your website's performance on multiple different types of devices using Google's free Mobile Website Speed Testing Tool.
According to a March 2015 report by comScore, the proportion of searches that are now performed on mobile devices has reached 29%. As this increases, and following this update from Google, websites that are not mobile-friendly will attract fewer and fewer visitors from search results. We therefore recommend that all website owners consider upgrading their website to one that caters well to all devices (using responsive web design).
Last updated: 26th October, 2016