Is Google punishing your business?
If your website is more than couple years old and does not have an SSL certificate (https://), then the answer is probably YES!
Quick reasons why are Security HTTP vs HTTPS and the soar in the use of mobile devices. In October of 2017 Google started downranking sites that were not secure. Also in Nov 2017, they confirmed there were going to stick with “Mobile First” indexing. They had been experimenting with the mobile first for a couple of years but now will be scoring or ranking your website based on both of these conditions.
For years Google crawled or searched the web for desktop versions of websites. Then also scanned for Mobile versions of websites, giving your website a score or ranking based on its performance in both crawls/scans. What the Mobile First strategy means is that they now perform the search or crawl looking mobile-friendly versions first. If your website is not designed to be responsive ( work on all devices ) it will not perform well in these crawls and be ranked lower than a website than that performs well on tablets and cell phones.
A few years back there were platforms and apps that you could use to create a mobile version of your website, that designers used. This led you to have multiple versions of your website, with only the desktop version having any SEO. Another “trick” that was used is to create narrow websites, leaving blank spaces on both sides of your content. The hope & logic behind this was that your website was not so wide that it wouldn’t display on mobile devices and that the user could pinch and move the site around to be able to read and view things. Not a terrible solution as it did leave your website with all the SEO title descriptions in tack for the search engines to find you. However, it’s really a waste of valuable advertising space and has become an instantly recognizable sign of an outdated website as well as no longer what Google is looking for.
•If you have a responsive site or a dynamic serving site where the primary content and markup is equivalent across mobile and desktop, you shouldn’t have to change anything.
•If you have a site configuration where the primary content and markup is different across mobile and desktop, you should consider making some changes to your site.
To be clear there are many reasons why a website will not perform as well as others. There also are a number of other ways Google downranks websites as well. Pop-up ads, broken links, old content, etc…. but the changes above affect a large number of websites and as easily fixed regardless of other performance issues a website may have.