Responsive design is a must from April 21st 2015.
“Google will be expanding the use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal with a significant impact in search results in all languages worldwide starting April 21.”
It’s official… from April 21st, the mobile-friendliness of your site will be a major factor in your search rankings.
Non-responsive sites or those deemed not mobile-friendly may drop in search rankings, in favour of those that are already responsive.
A mobile friendly website is one that displays well on smaller screens – such as phones and smaller devices. This may include tablets sized screens as well.
Also known as responsive design or making a responsive website – ensuring your website is mobile friendly is now of key importance when it comes to Google search.
As of 21 April 2015, Google is using the mobile-friendliness of a website as a search ranking factor, so it is imperative that all websites are mobile friendly in order to rank well in search results. This means that if your website is not classed by Google as “mobile friendly” it will not rank as well in the search results as your competitors’ websites might. Even if it has other SEO features set up well!
From SEO Book:
“In the past Google would hint that they were working to clean up link spam or content farms or website hacking and so on. In some cases announcing such efforts was done to try to discourage investment in the associated strategies, but it is quite rare that Google pre-announces an algorithmic shift which they state will be significant & they put an exact date on it.
I wouldn’t recommend waiting until the last day to implement the design changes, as it will take Google time to re-crawl your site & recognize if the design is mobile friendly.
Those who ignore the warning might be in for significant pain.”
Some excellent tips from Google about going Mobile Friendly: