By Daniel Hunter

From January, Google has issued warnings to webmasters who fail to meet its mobile usability standards and a Kent-based digital marketing agency is advising small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) that their search rankings could severely be at risk.

MCM Net, whose clients include Chelsea Football Club and Harvey Jones Kitchens, says websites that are not mobile-friendly will be displayed and ranked appropriately for smartphone users in search results and this could have a detrimental impact on the performance of a business who fails to comply.

Since November 2014, searches that have been carried out on mobile devices have seen results from websites which meet Google’s standards labelled with ‘Mobile-friendly’. This enables the user to make an informed decision by letting them know if a site is going to display correctly on their device before they’ve clicked through. However, official warnings from Google have now been made.

Richard Coatsworth, Digital Marketing Executive at MCM Net comments: “When Google speaks, digital marketers listen; and on this occasion businesses of all shapes and sizes should too. With 58% of the UK’s population now mobile internet users, more people will soon be accessing websites via a mobile than desktop. Many of our clients find that more than half of their traffic comes from mobile devices.

This number is continuing to grow on a daily basis therefore it is crucial businesses are fully aware of these warnings. It has the potential to impact both their ranking on Google and their position within the market.”

With Google pushing the importance of mobile friendly websites and with 50% of the searches conducted on Google now done via a smart phone[1], Richard believes a warning from the search engine giant should function as an alarm; a pre-emptive message indicating that things are about to change once more with the possible implementation of an algorithm which takes into account a site’s mobile usability.

Richard adds: “As with all algorithm updates, this will see the sites that meet Google’s standards be served to users, whilst those that don’t are set to fall down the rankings considerably. As a result, we would strongly recommend local business to get their websites fully responsive across all mobile devices or risk losing valuable online visibility, and potential business, in the near future.”