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Google New Algorithm to Penalize Non-Responsive Sites

April 16, 2015 | Neha Arora
It can be outright frustrating if the website you are trying to access comes up all spread out and garbled on your device. Well, there is nothing wrong with your phone. The website is just not up with the times.

Well, if you have been dragging your feet on making your website mobile-friendly, its time to pull up your bootstraps and speed up the transition. You won’t be given a choice anymore.



mobile friendly sites

With effect from April 21st, Google will identify and penalize websites that don’t offer the flexibility of responsive web design by lowering their SEO ranking in mobile searches.



With effect from April 21st, Google will introduce a new algorithm that will identify and penalize websites that are not mobile-friendly by lowering their SEO ranking in mobile searches. This move comes in the wake of the fact that an increasingly large number of users are browsing, researching, engaging and making purchases on their smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices. Browsing on laptops and desktops is passé.

With its new algorithm, Google is ensuring that relevant content and easy navigation is provided to the large audience using Internet on mobile phones. Websites that do not offer the flexibility of responsive web design are forced to shape up or ship out.

Non-responsive websites will suffer badly


Non-responsive websites are going to suffer badly in the search engine results, no matter how much search engine optimization efforts have been invested in achieving high search engine rankings. The ‘desktop only’ sites will rank much lower in the mobile search that will ultimately affect business. On the other hand, mobile friendly sites will be rewarded with high improved rankings.

The objective is to provide the mobile users with relevant results be it mobile-friendly web pages or mobile apps. As stated in the official Google webmaster blog, “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.”

In other words, a non-responsive site would mean lost opportunities, missed traffic, frustrated users and ultimately loss of business.

Check if your site is mobile-friendly


How you are going to gauge whether your website meets the criteria for “mobile-friendly” website or not.? Here are some of the eligibility criterions as prescribed by the Googlebot (Google’s web crawling bot software or spider that collects documents from web to create a searchable index for the search engine) to determine your site as mobile-friendly:

  • Your site is mobile friendly if it avoids software such as Flash as this software does not play well in mobile browsers

  • Your website has text that is readable without zooming

  • Adjusts content on the screen so that users don’t have to scroll horizontally

  • Touch elements on your website such as links and buttons should not be too close together for touchscreen use. Ensure links are enough apart so that correct link is pressed.

  • Page load time is not high. Check page load time with the tool – Google’s PageSpeed Insights that lets you gauge how quickly your webpages load on mobile.

  • Have sufficient white space around buttons to make your easy to navigate.

  • Site should stay away from dense copy. Rather shorter headlines and articles are ideal for mobile browsing.


It is time to review your website to ensure whether it is mobile friendly or not. And the best tool to test its all devices compatibility is Google’s very own Mobile-Friendly Test that let you analyze a URL and determine if the page has a mobile-friendly design or not. 

So go ahead and give your website a thorough health check. May sure you are up with the times or you may find your competitors who started later than you, race ahead.

Wisitech, one of India’s leading responsive web design companies, banks on its domain-expertise, rich hands-on experience, innovation and ability to sense specific customers’ requirement to deliver mobile friendly, world-class responsive web design solutions.

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