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I have heard rumors that if I do not have a mobile-optimized web-site (whether through responsive design or redirection to a mobile version of the site) that Google will not show my site when a user searches on their mobile phone.

Is there any truth to this?

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I love the answers, but I was wondering if there was an official statement from Google regarding this? –  lonewookie Feb 5 at 14:51

3 Answers 3

up vote 4 down vote accepted

No. Google does not even prioritise mobile sites on its mobile search. Just search for some big sites like Facebook or Wikipedia - it shows their regular sites, not mobile sites.

That's not to say it won't change in the future. Furthermore, don't forget the user experience: if your site doesn't work well on mobile, users may go elsewhere.

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Thank you, this is exactly what I've experienced myself(below). –  AgA Feb 6 at 5:52

I don't think that your site will be completely omitted from mobile search results. Here is the traffic data for one of my websites for a month.

desktop 18,534
mobile  2,375
tablet  253

My site doesn't have a mobile optimised version or a responsive design but still mobile and tablet constitute 12.4% of the visits.

Even though my site traffic isn't high to come to any conclusions, it answers your question :

Is true that Google will not show my site when a user searches on their mobile phone.

The answer is No.

But I think that having a mobile optimised site will help you improve your rankings in mobile search. Otherwise, Google Webmasters Help would not be having an entire section devoted to Mobile Sites and wouldn't be using a different value for User Agent when crawling sites to index content for mobile searches. However, mobile optimisation is just one of the several ranking factors.

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Perhaps your mobile visitor count would be higher if it worked better with mobile. That's what Google is getting at. –  Rob Feb 1 at 13:12

I guess that Google should rank higher the mobile sites for mobile devices than the desktop version one.

Around 3 months back I had my 8 sites converted to mobile as well. But I've found that traffic to mobile sites has reduced. Before that Google wouldn't mind sending mobile visitors to desktop version with heavy pages & images which would simply suck their internet bandwidth.

In one niche are there are hardly any competitor's mobile sites available but still my mobile version isn't getting any more traffic even though it should have been preferred over non-mobile ones.

So I find only loss of traffic & ad revenue in converting to mobile version.

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