Google Announces Big Changes for Mobile Responsive Design

As we come close to Google’s mobile algorithm update in a few weeks, we start to learn more about what the new update will include.

Google will be rolling out a mobile-friendly update on April 21st so its a good idea to start re-planning your website mobile design and structure if it’s not smart phone friendly already. This particular update will be even larger than Panda and Penguin algorithm updates.

The good news is Google answered many questions in a Google+ hangout regarding their new update. You can see the replay below:

So far, we know that the update will begin on April 21st but it will be rolling out slowly over the course of a few days before it becomes global. The update is said to effect a large portion of mobile search, but it will not effect desktop searches.

The best way to know if your site is mobile-friendly is to see if you have the mobile-friendly label in the search results. You can also use Google’s mobile test tool to see if you qualify for the new update.

Google recommends responsive design mainly because it’s easier to manage one page and to avoid duplicate content on separate domains. However, they will not penalize you for hosting your mobile site on a separate domain, but it may have a slight impact on your rankings.

It is also best to make sure you’re making use of XML sitemaps to help your content get indexed faster for both the mobile and desktop search results.