Until now, Google had been politely suggesting that you make your website mobile friendly. Well, it’s done playing nice. This week it launched mobilegeddon. That’s the popular name for changes in Google’s ranking system that will significantly favor mobile-friendly websites.

So if your site is not mobile-friendly, your search rankings are going to drop like a stone. And prospective customers are going to have a harder time finding you. Difficult to sell to someone who doesn’t know you exist.

Google wants to remain the search option of choice for the growing majority of people who search the web on their mobile devices. Face it, it’s pretty aggravating to call up a regular website on your smartphone. First it’s too small to read. Then after some fussing around it’s big enough to read but there’s no context and you have no idea where you are on the page. The new rankings make it much more likely that the top sites in any search result will be easy to read on a phone or tablet.

Be Responsive

Google recommends – and we’ve been recommending for several years now – a responsive site. Responsive refers to a site’s ability to adapt to the window it’s being viewed in. That means if you view it on a desktop, it will look like a normal website. If you view on a tablet, it automatically adapts and looks as though it was designed just for your tablet. Ditto for a smartphone.

It’s easy to tell if a site is responsive. Call it up on your smartphone and see whether it looks as though it was made for your phone. Or call it up on your desktop, grab a corner of your browser window with your mouse and change the size of your window. If the site smoothly adapts to the changing window size, it’s responsive. Or you can use this Google tool to check a site’s mobile friendliness.

Good News

Here’s the good news for the aviation industry. Almost everyone is in the non-mobile-friendly boat. That means if you update your site, you’ll be well ahead of most of your competitors. And considering the inexorable increase of mobile use, there’s really only one sensible option. Make your site mobile friendly. Soon.

This column ran in the April 23 issue of BlueSky Business Aviation News.