Will Google Penalize my Business if I Don’t Have a Mobile Friendly Website?

Google press release

If you haven’t yet taken the plunge into a mobile centric mindset when it comes to your business and your website, the most compelling reason for you to do so may come from Google.

Mobile use continues to increase at a rapid rate - growing more that 50 percent in the past three years, with total activity on smartphones and tablets now accounting for two-thirds of all digital media time. Google Search ranks as the 5th most frequently used app with over 40,000 search queries every second on average which equates to over 3.5 billion searches per day and 1.2 trillion searches per year worldwide. They are the king of search and their focus has shifted to mobile, which means yours should too. So, if you are wondering if Google will penalize your business for not having a mobile friendly website, the answer is yes. 

Whether you adhere to the 5 second or 10 second website rule we can all agree that you only have a matter of seconds to get the attention of your visitors. If your website is only designed for desktop users, you are guaranteeing a bad user experience for anyone on a mobile device. With only seconds to spare and other competitors hot on your heels, it is imperative that their first online experience with your brand is a good one. 75 percent of all searches are being made on mobile devices as consumers search for local businesses, products and services. By not creating a mobile friendly website, you are missing out on new business.

In the past two years, Google has rolled out several updates aimed at improving the user experience and the integrity of their search results. In 2015, “Mobilegeddon” started an avalanche of updates focused on mobile users, telling us that mobile rankings would differ for mobile-friendly sites. Then, they moved toward changing how quality content was assessed followed by the introduction of RankBrain, utilizing Artificial Intelligence (AI), which became its 3rd most influential ranking factor. An AdWords shake-up in early 2016 had significant implications for click thru rates for both paid and organic results. As their focus on mobile increased, they rolled out another ranking signal boost that benefited mobile-friendly sites on mobile search and then introduced the major Penguin update. The multiple parts of Google’s algorithm all influence search rankings differently. Google Panda is specific to the quality of content, Penguin is specific to the quality of links, and Hummingbird handles conversational search queries. 

Google requires mobile-friendly sites that are readable, immediately usable and beneficial to a growing mobile-only population of site traffic. Your goal with any mobile-friendly website changes should be to make your customers’ lives easier. To make sure your site is compliant with Google’s requirements and to increase your odds of showing up in search results, they have provided Mobile Optimization Guidelines for you to follow. If your website is not designed as a responsive website, now is the time to make improvements so you don’t miss out on any more mobile traffic from potential customers!

About Webb Technology Group
Webb Technology Group is a certified Veteran-Owned Small Business (VOSB), LGBT Business Enterprise (LGBTBE), Minority Business Enterprise (MBE), Small Local Business Enterprise (SLBE), and an SBA Certified 8(a) firm specializing in mobile application development and responsive web technology solutions for minority, women-owned businesses and government agencies. Their core competencies include app development, responsive website design and social media management. Learn more at