Are you ready for Mobile? Google is!

If you’ve been thinking about fixing your mobile site, 2015 might be the year.


Why, you might ask?

Google has been sending out reports from Google Webmaster Tools that you better get mobile friendly.

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.

Google Webmaster Central Blog

Advantage Boating is a client in the sailing industry and their local B2C business has yet to move to a responsive design to become fully mobile friendly.  However, he got the notice from Google Webmaster Tools last week and is now in the process of updating to mobile, along with a few other upgrades too.

What are his motivations to move to mobile?

  • Google suggested it in 2014 and is now sending warnings early 2015. (He’s been told to.)
  • 26% of traffic is mobile or tablet with no significant growth in the past year. (Traffic volume)
  • Members want a better mobile experience to book boats and download class materials. (Usability)

In the next few months he will move to a mobile site and we’re along for the ride to see what the journey is like.  What’s the investment and the payoff? We hope to provide some insight to others out there who might be considering the same, because I can assure you there are web services out there that will start to knock on your door to move to mobile.


Mobile vs Desktop Search Engine Results Page (SERP)


Let’s test it out.  Granted this is a sample of one but it’s results speak volumes for our friend as the results could change the profits for his business.  We looked at the mobile and desktop SERP results for the search term “sailing lessons” using a local search location (Ottawa, ON).

We discovered there are no significant differences between SERP results on mobile or desktop.

Click on this image to see how the mobile and desktop results are in exactly the same order.  Only two domains have the “mobile-friendly” label to the mobile SERP but as of March 19, 2015 it does not appear to influence their ranking either way.

Mobile vs Desktop Search Engine Results Page for a local search term 'sailing lessons'

Mobile vs Desktop Search Engine Results Page for a local search term ‘sailing lessons’


  1. Anyone else see different results for their clients?  Please share them.
  2. What happens next? Do SERP’s change in the coming months to penalize non-mobile friendly sites? Will our friend’s mobile launch mitigate potential changes in SERP’s, and will they rank better?

We know more data is needed to fully answer the current state of mobile search.  However, we hope this data point can help give you insight into your next steps.

We know some good people if you need a mobile site.