Google's mobile-friendly update promised the coming of "mobilegeddon" when it was released this past spring, but it didn't have quite as big an impact as marketers initially predicted. Though this update does not yet have the same far-reaching effects on search results that previous updates like Panda and Penguin did, it still changes the search landscape by providing benefits to mobile-optimized sites.
How the Update Impacts Search Rankings
According to Search Engine Land, after Google's update took place, "listings [began to] rank higher in smartphone search than they [did] in desktop search simply because the site that previously ranked higher [was] not mobile friendly." This information shows that, as a result of Google's new algorithm, non-mobile-optimized sites have been receiving less mobile traffic than their competitors. This is a major development because mobile shopping is becoming more and more popular. If sites that don't have a responsive design lose a portion of their mobile shopping traffic, they'll have a lower potential of earning valuable customer conversions.
The Importance of Having a Mobile-Optimized Website
While non-mobile-optimized sites may not yet be experiencing huge declines in business or revenue, this will not always be the case. As the world becomes increasingly mobile, sites that do not have a responsive design will be left behind, not only because of lower search rankings, but because of poor consumer impressions, as well. Customers who intend to make a purchase directly from their mobile device will seek out brands that have sites that are easy to navigate on this platform so that they don't waste any time or effort. And once consumers have a bad experience on a site that is not designed to meet their needs as a mobile shopper, they will likely turn to a competitor.
In today's mobile age, it's clear that you're missing out on valuable traffic and conversions if your site is not mobile-optimized. As new search algorithms are beginning to place increasing emphasis on the importance of responsive design, it is becoming more and more important for you to invest in any necessary updates.