Google has recently made an announcement that they are making major changes to their search algorithm. Starting April 21, Google’s organic search algorithm will focus more on “mobile friendliness” as a ranking signal. What does this mean? Websites that have responsive design will be more attractive to Google’s search engine, while websites that are not mobile friendly will be penalized.

Google is making these changes in hopes of making it easier for users to find relevant, high quality search results that are optimized for their devices. According to Google, 94% of people use a mobile phone to get local information, even if they have a desktop nearby. Google wants to make these users’ experience even better by listing search results that are friendly on mobile devices.

Responsive web design has always been a smart thing for a business to have, but now it’s almost a necessity. 73 percent of web users prefer mobile-friendly websites and 61 percent leave a site if it is not mobile-friendly. 67 percent of users say they are more likely to buy from a site if it is mobile friendly. Because of the dramatic increase in mobile usage, naturally it makes sense for Google to play favorites and steer users toward mobile friendly websites. As a result, the search engine will push websites which are not mobile-friendly further down in search results.

If your site is not mobile-friendly, chances are you won’t be found when someone is searching for the services you offer. For those that have sites that aren’t mobile friendly, it might be time to talk with a web designer.