You're probably already aware of it. It has to do with the mobile-friendliness of your website.
The world's largest search engine has been implementing a significant overhaul of its mobile-search-aware algorithm to give priority to those sites it deems as mobile-friendly. For consumers this means that your mobile device searches will increasingly show results showing mobile-friendly site links than it did before. For your desktop computer-based searches it will not have any effect according to Google.
(For the sake of convenience, I am including phone and tablet categories within the "mobile" moniker).
Of course this is good for consumers. This pushes organizations to upgrade their online technology and code to reflect the new mobile reality and comply for the betterment of the consumers' viewing habits. After all, we have all been faced with a search result on our phone that pushed us to a site that was all but unreadable due to its antiquated code and lack of readability. That is a frustrating experience and this algorithm change will push compliance.
Big changes are not new to Google. They are all about change. They constantly change things, build them and tear them down and pick up the pieces and use them elsewhere. This is by no means the end of change.
Algorithms, products (Google+ is starting to make moves, anyone remember Wave? I didn't think so), pricing, acquisitions; it's what Google does. Mobile compliance is largely another notch in this belt, but it is also unique in many ways.
It's big, philosophically. It doesn't take much to see that compliance in mobile has taken a significant jump in importance for media viewing, consumption and now making great gains in conversion. Not long ago most people would not have thought seriously about buying something on their mobile – may have been concerns over security, lack of good interfaces to even see what they were doing, and just plain online cultural consciousness was not ready. Now, however, mobile conversion ratios are pushing past 40% – this is not marginal market share by any stretch.
The key thing is that it's happened well before many businesses were culturally ready. The culture of "we just re-did our design two years ago" (or 3 or 5) is still prevalent and it's presenting challenges on both the business and technical level for that blurred line between the development department and the business stakeholder department.
What does this mean moving forward? Mobile compliance will no longer be seen as just a means to keep Google interested, it is a means for a profit centre. When more than half your revenue is very likely to come from a mobile device the way of thinking must change.
Once we embrace mobile reality we need to see mobile experience for the contextual moment of consumption that it is – Google calls it the Zero Moment of Truth. How our customers perceive their moment of need when they're hungry, when their friend twigs a memory in conversation, when they see a billboard, a TV show, the moments are endless. How is your digital brand going to step up to the reality that your inventory, offering, wisdom and charity must be ready for anyone, on any device any time.
Google's just pushing that realization – it's already here.