The world is going mobile. As the influence of smartphones, smart watches, and tablets continues to rise, the importance of mobile grows and grows. Apps, mobile websites, and a mobile-friendly presence are becoming absolutely vital for a business to survive today.
It’s update time!
An upcoming Google algorithm update will expand the mobile dependence even more. On April 21, Google will release an update that will place the importance on mobile searches. From their official blog, it says:
“Starting April 21, we will be expanding our use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal. This change will affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide and will have a significant impact in our search results. Consequently, users will find it easier to get relevant, high quality search results that are optimized for their devices.”
What does this mean?
So what does this announcement and update mean? Well, if you have a website that is not optimized for mobile, then your website rankings will suffer. Google is putting a lot more weight into this, and websites that are mobile friendly could move up in the rankings. Most of Google’s updates are to try to provide a better search engine experience to its customers, and this update is no different.
How exactly can you tell if you have a mobile-friendly website? Fortunately, Google has many resources available to help you. Google has a great tool available to test your website, called the Mobile-Friendly Test. All you have to do is enter in your URL, and Google will analyze it, and tell you if there are any problems. If not, Google will tell you “Awesome! This page is mobile-friendly.”
What do I look for?
What does Google look for when deciding if a website is mobile friendly or not? Google looks for several things:
- Are the links too close together? (Can your fat finger tap everything with no problem?)
- Is the entire page in view? (Google doesn’t like pages where you have to scroll from side-to-side or zoom in to see content.)
- Does your website utilize Adobe Flash and other software that is uncommon or incompatible with mobile phones?
Check out your website yourself, or run it through Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test. Doing these things should help you see where your website currently stands.
What can you do to make sure your website is ready for this update?
- Check the current status of your website. Make sure it is mobile friendly, and ready for the change. Your site should not drop in the rankings if you do this.
- Stay up on the latest mobile trends and designs. The more you do to improve your mobile website, the better it will do. The mobile world is always changing; make sure you stay up on it.
Remember this for the future. If the update has already rolled out, and you don’t have a mobile-friendly website, don’t panic. Your rankings will improve after you update your website. Also, the opposite is true as well. If you decide to redesign your website and it is no longer optimized for mobile, it will fall in the rankings. These new changes by Google will have a long-term impact.