It’s all happening. Mobilegeddon is here, and Bruce Willis and Ben Affleck aren’t going to save us this time. Google has implemented a major algorithm change as of April 21st that will heavily weigh a site’s mobile compatibility in search rankings.
Is your website ready?Here is an easy way to tell. Take out your smartphone, go to your website. Are you there? Ok, that’s fine; I’ll wait a second …
How about now? Ok, good.
Is your site showing up exactly as it would on a desktop? Is everything really small? Is it showing up at all? Would you have a hard time hitting anything with your thumb?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, then it’s time to upgrade your site for mobile, or you may risk being buried in Google’s search rankings.
Here are the basic elements of the new Google Search algorithm update:
- Googlebot must be allowed to crawl the site to pass the “mobile friendly” test. That means Google needs to able to read your site and check if it is mobile compatible or not.
- Mobile-friendliness is determined at the page level, not sitewide. That means having one or two mobile-friendly pages isn’t enough, the whole site needs to be mobile.
- Tablets will not be affected by this update. Phew …
- Google is working on a dedicated mobile index. That means Google will start to read the mobile web separately. If your site isn’t mobile, it won’t be found at all.
- You can find out if your site is ready for mobile here.
To be fair, Google did give out warnings that this would be coming a few years ago, so we can't say this is a surprise, but sometimes things like this can sneak up on you.
So, what do you do? How can you make your website mobile and save yourself from the wrath of Google?
There are a number of different ways, but the recommended way is to make your website responsive.
Responsive web design is used to have one website display correctly on any screen size. This is done by having page elements shift, move, and resize based on the screen the site is being viewed on.
In other words, responsive design makes every single page on your site mobile-friendly. If you want to learn more about responsive design, check out our article on it. Click here.
Moving your site to a responsive design can be a large project and a bit of an investment, but from a marketing standpoint, it’s more than worth it.
In the last few years, mobile internet usage has soared. It rose 67% from 2013 to 2014, and it doesn’t show any signs of slowing down. Right now, over 25% of internet users only access it through a mobile device (tablet, smartphone, etc.). Your customers are using their mobile devices; shouldn’t they be able to see you?
So, best of luck navigating your website into the mobile-era. As Bruce Willis’ character Harry Stamper said in the movie Armageddon:
“You go take care of my little girl now. That's your job. Always thought of you as a son. Always. But, I'd be damn proud to have you marry Grace.”
- Bruce Willis
(Ok, we realize that has nothing to do with responsive design, but we really like that movie.)
If you need a hand getting your website up to snuff, we're here for you.