Please Note: on the 21st of April 2015, Google implemented a change in its algorithm that pushed all non-mobile-friendly websites down the search results list
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Google has changed the way its influential search engine recommends websites on smartphones in a shift that has swayed where millions of people shop, eat and find information.
The revised formula favors websites that Google defines as "mobile-friendly." Websites that don't fit the description are demoted in Google's search results on smartphones while those meeting the criteria are more likely to appear at the top of the rankings - a prized position that can translate into more visitors and money.
It's probably the most significant change that Google Inc. has ever made to its mobile search rankings, according to Matt McGee, editor-in-chief for Search Engine Land, a trade publication that follows every tweak that the company makes to its closely guarded algorithms.
While most major merchants and big companies already have websites likely to meet Google's mobile standard, the new formula threatens to hurt millions of small businesses that haven't had the money or incentive to adapt their sites for smartphones.