Google to prioritise mobile sites

Garages and workshops could fall off the Google radar if their websites are not mobile responsive.

Google’s new Mobile First index will see websites ranked on the mobile version of their webpage, rather than the desktop version, when it launches. Google first officially announced the proposed new Mobile First algorithm at the end of 2016 and has said it is designed to both reflect the increasing numbers of searches that are made on smartphones and ensure that its algorithms accurately rank the content that is being served.

This move by Google is no surprise, considering the recent massive growth of smartphone ownership and usage. Recent figures show that total browse time per month is much higher on smartphones than via desktops, with an average of 66 hours spent surfing the net via smartphones, compared with just 29 hours via desktops.

According to Dragon2000, if garages and workshops have a responsive website, or a fully functioning mobile version, then they should perform well in Google’s new ranking. Mark Kelland, commercial manager at Dragon2000, said, ‘If garages and workshops already have a mobile responsive site then the changes shouldn’t affect the. However garages and workshops with separate mobile sites need to ensure that all their content and structured mark-up are the same as their desktop version, otherwise they risk a drop in their website rankings.

‘Garages and workshops who don’t have much involvement with their website and simply leave it to their provider may not even realise that their current site is not mobile responsive, with those particularly at risk being garages and workshops that have ageing websites, or basic template sites. The added benefit of having a mobile responsive website is that it is a far better experience for the mobile user, as images, text and layout all scale properly between desktop and mobile browsers.

‘Websites that are not responsive leave the mobile user scrolling sideways across large images and text, which is frustrating, and will likely make them give up trying to use the site. Garages and workshops with basic or outdated websites that are not mobile responsive will undoubtedly miss out on a growing mobile audience, so they should switch to a modern-looking mobile responsive website as soon as possible.

‘Another aim of Google is improving security, so it now requires websites to have SSL Certificates. Visitors connecting to non-SSL secured websites are potentially at risk of data being intercepted and viewed or modified. Going forward, SSL certificated websites will be favoured above those without them in Google searches, so garages and workshops’ website rankings could well suffer.

‘Google’s eventual plan is to show a red warning triangle, so visitors are clearly warned about sites that are not secure, so there will be a high chance that visitors will leave an unsecured site, and this could result in garages and workshops losing online enquiries. All our individually designed Dragon2000 built websites are mobile responsive and come with SSL certificates as standard.’