Traffic Doom! Google to punish you for no mobile website

| March 31, 2015

Google regularly reviews and amends the way it ranks its search results. Darren Moffatt shares the latest change that will hit many businesses and First 5000 members hard.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last few years you’ve probably heard about the surge in internet search now conducted on smartphones.

It’s growing like topsy. You may even have made a mental note that you should fix your old business website and make it ‘mobile friendly’ to capitalise on this trend.

But if you’re like most businesses, you haven’t done anything about it yet. This task is probably somewhere towards the bottom of that long list of things to do that business owners or managers never truly conquer. Am I right?

Well, it’s time to bump that job up to the top of the list.

If your business is wholly or partly reliant on web traffic as a source of inbound enquiry, then put April 21 in your diary NOW: it’s the ‘doomsday deadline’ for getting your website ready for mobile search. Yes, Google is soon to punish you for no mobile site.

Recently Google made an announcement about making mobile-friendly compliance as a ranking factor in search results. This means that if you do not have a dynamic/responsive site that provides a good user experience for people searching on smartphones, or a discrete mobile site, then you will start to receive less organic traffic from Google from April 21.

Here’s a crazy stat to get you thinking: about 50 per cent of all internet search activity in Australia now occurs on smartphones or tablets. But how many businesses have a ‘mobile friendly’ website? I was unable to find recent Australian data but two surveys in the U.S indicate it is only between 6 per cent and 9 per cent

So ‘doing the math’, it appears that well over 90 per cent of business websites stand to lose traffic from April 21. Who will be the winners?

  • The small minority who already have mobile-friendly websites
  • Those businesses who upgrade or improve their existing website by April 21
  • Businesses without any website at all (still 67 per cent of all Australian businesses!) who bite the bullet and go online with a smartphone friendly site in April

So just how BIG could this smartphone search opportunity become in your industry? Check out the latest data in this chart. The report by Adobe Digital Index shows an astonishing 90.4% traffic from tablets and smartphones experienced by the top 20% of media and entertainment industry.

Mobile search volume by industry

And if you still need any more convincing, look at the data released by comScore showing US desktop search volume has gone down significantly over the past year.

Desktop search vs mobile


Smartphone search is where the action is, and increasingly will be. You need to play in this space, or over time you’ll be toast. On the upside, if you move quickly, there is an awesome opportunity to get the jump on your competitors and win more customers online. But be quick!


To know if your site is ‘mobile-friendly’ or not, you can use THIS TOOL


  1. Check to see if your site is mobile friendly
  2. If not, approach your web developer or a friendly digital agency to fix it for you
  3. Relax and enjoy the uptick in organic traffic you should see in future

This article was first published on WebBuzz and is republished on First 5000 with the kind permission of the author.