Google’s mobile-friendly algorithm boost is officially here. The new mobile update will give an extra boost to mobile-friendly websites in searches conducted on mobile devices. These changes were announced back in March with the assurance that, if you are already mobile-friendly, you have nothing to worry about because you wouldn’t “be impacted by this update.”  The gradual roll out started earlier this month and is finally complete.

How does the update work?

The latest update will “increase the effect of the [mobile-friendly] ranking signal.” This mobile-only algorithm was specifically designed to boost mobile-friendly pages in mobile search results. The algorithm assesses and indexes each site page by page, which can take time, so the impact will slowly become more apparent. This update won’t affect desktop results, nor will it impact sites that are already mobile friendly.

Why is this update important for you?

It’s no secret that mobile devices are becoming exponentially ubiquitous. We use them constantly for a wide range of activities–from shopping and watching YouTube videos to paying bills and completing business transactions. Google stated in May of last year that “more Google searches take place on mobile devices than on computers” in ten countries, including the United States. Given the rise of personal handheld devices, this is hardly surprising.

44% of buyers come across new brands they were previously unfamiliar with via mobile search, and an increasing number of consumers state that it is “important that the websites they visit are mobile friendly.” If you have been putting off mobile optimization, now is the time to seriously consider investing in the change in order to increase your visibility and remain competitive. Your competitors may rank better than you in mobile searches simply because they have already invested in a mobile website solution.

You can ensure your website is mobile friendly by checking out Google’s mobile guidelines and by testing your site using the Google mobile-friendly tool.