It’s important to be mobile friendly. Google has began to recognise this as well; from April 21st they will be awarding mobile-friendly sites with a label. If your site has an error when being accessed from a mobile device it will be ranked lower down. Google says they are “expanding mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal” which implies it is already in place, therefore it’s not something entirely new.
Google has not said explicitly one way or the other whether these ‘mobile as a ranking signal’ changes will affect tablet. I’d assume for now it won’t affect tablets (as Ahmed Khalifa pointed out – Google’s mobile testing tools focus on phones), but wouldn’t rule it out.
Do spend some time taking a look at the difference in organic mobile behaviour for your sites vs organic desktop behaviour. Often it varies quite dramatically. ‘Homepage landers’ vs ‘non-homepage landers’ is a particularly important split to look at: Often on mobile, a greater proportion of organic traffic lands on the homepage. In all likelihood, sites will probably not drop in search results for their brand terms, which usually drive the bulk of homepage traffic.
Google’s post says the change applies to all languages. It’s important to remember that different countries are at wildly different points on the mobile uptake curve. For example – in the UK it’s not totally uncommon to see a site that bumps above 50% phone traffic at certain times in the day. In Germany that’s far rarer.
Luckily, if this worries you – we are here to help. If you have any trouble with making your site mobile friendly, make sure you get in touch. Sharpmonkeys is a digital marketing agency based in Worcester.