Nearly one year ago Google announced it would no longer show websites that were not mobile-friendly in searches.
“Starting April 21, we will be expanding our use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal. This change will affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide and will have a significant impact in our search results. Consequently, users will find it easier to get relevant, high quality search results that are optimized for their devices.” (GoogleBlog)
This was an incentive to web designers/publishers to provide more mobile-friendly pages.
Today, Google announced that starting in May 2016 they will begin rolling out an update to mobile searches. This update will increase the effect of “ranking signal” even more in order to help users find relevant and mobile-friendly results.
Currently, websites that are not mobile-friendly already rank lower in mobile searches. The new update will rank these sites even lower.
“The basic idea behind this is to give mobile users a better search experience.” (TechCrunch)
While mobile-friendly websites are important, the intent is a “very strong signal”, so if your web page has high quality content, but is not mobile-friendly it could rank well in a search. Again, only with “great, relevant content.” (GoogleBlog)
However, if your site has great, relevant content and still ranks well in a Google Search, if it is hard to read or see your viewers may not be interested in sticking around your site if it is hard to actually see your content. Which is another reason why mobile-friendly is important.
Overall, a mobile friendly website will look good and function well on all devices – from a 60-inch TV screen to a tiny mobile display.
Bottom line, it would probably be in the best interest of your site to be mobile-friendly. Being mobile-friendly will ensure that your site is found, whether or not it has “great content,” according to Google. (See more about why a mobile-friendly site is important here.)
“If you’ve already made your site mobile-friendly, you will not be impacted by this update. If you need support with your mobile-friendly site, we recommend checking out the Mobile-Friendly Test and the Webmaster Mobile Guide, both of which provide guidance on how to improve your mobile site.” (GoogleBlog)