Yesterday, Google altered its search engine algorithm making mobile-friendly websites get higher search ranks if the search query is made from a smartphone. The change, which was announced a while ago, will make the search engine take into consideration a website's ability to adjust itself to smaller screens and increase or decrease their ranking accordingly. Even though this change affects only smartphone search queries and does not influence those coming from tablets and PCs, it may still have a negative impact on over 40% of the Fortune 500 websites.
Since nowadays almost every business relies heavily on Google search, a change in the algorithm can have a drastic impact on the industry as a whole. I know, it may seem not that important but statistics show that being in the top spot of a search will attract somewhere between 20% or 30% of the users to click on them. Compare this result to the websites below the third position, that only get approximately 1%, a huge difference, admit it. An alteration in the ranking algorithm means that every company has to quickly adjust and find out how to re-optimize its site to the search engine.
According to Google's official statement, the changes will start slowly rolling out during the next two weeks, so it might take a while before they will be noticeable. However, if your website is not yet mobile-friendly you don't have to panic; you can optimize it whenever you have time and the search engine will give you a better ranking. Furthermore, the ranking algorithm uses other criteria, so non-mobile-friendly websites may still rank just as high.