A lot has been discussed throughout the media on Google’s decision to change its search ranking algorithm on April 21,2015 for pages that are not considered to be mobile friendly. Does this mean that you site will no longer be found in Google? Will your site be permanently placed in the mobile search “penalty box”? Will cats and dogs finally decide to be friends (who knows…that actually might happen)? This article will help clear the confusion, and give you an action plan to ensure that your site can be found on mobile searches using Google.
What is Mobilegeddon…and frankly…why should I care?
Google has been rather passionate for the past few years that owners of web sites listed in their search engines provide the best possible mobile experience for its users. Much like your Mom who has asked you to clean up your room, to do your homework, to eat your broccoli (sorry Mom – not happening), Google has figured that their pleas have fallen on deaf ears. Consider this Google’s “tough-love”. On April 21, 2015, pages indexed in Google that are not mobile-friendly (you can check whether your site is considered to be mobile friendly at https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/mobile-friendly/) will be listed rather considerably below those pages that are mobile-friendly.
This is the end…the sky is falling…my search listings are going to be forever destroyed in Google!
That would be a bit of an exaggeration. Your page’s mobile search ranking WILL be adversely impacted in a Google search if it is not mobile friendly. On a positive note…if you choose to make just your home page mobile friendly by April 21st, its listing won’t (yes I repeat won’t) be impacted by Mobilegeddon. That’s where I would start if you are on a budget. Get your home page mobile-friendly, then work to make your site’s remaining pages mobile-friendly in order of each page’s importance.
I’m not convinced. I don’t care! You can’t make me make my site mobile! I don’t even like phones!
I don’t like mobile phones either, especially after 5:00 pm on weekdays or on weekends. However…you can bet that your customers like their mobile phones and are probably using it right now to find a service or product they are interested in. If your site is not mobile-friendly, and they are looking for a product or service you offer by using their mobile phone, they will find lots of listings for that match their search criteria. Sadly, non-mobile-friendly pages on your site will not be listed in their search results.
Okay..you’re starting to convince me. What does mobile-friendly mean?
The short answer is that your site is easy to use on a mobile phone. That means that the type is easy to read, buttons are not crowded, forms are easy to complete, the site is easy to get around. That doesn’t mean that, well, my site that was designed 3 (or many) years ago scales “really” well on a phone, and if you “stretch” the content, the site is “kind of” usable. Check your web site out on a phone. If it is hard to read, use and navigate, it’s time to optimize.
Help me Obi Wan Kenobi! What Should I do Next?
Decide if your business relies on mobile search results. Okay..STOP! Your business DOES rely on mobile search results. Create an action plan TODAY. That should include mobile-optimizing your home page as close to April 21st as possible. Don’t stress over April 21st. If you can’t make that date (most companies won’t be able to) work to get your home page optimized as close to April 21st as possible, submit an update within Google Webmaster Tools to “Fetch As Google” the home page of your site, then proceed to mobile-optimize the rest of your site and submit “Fetch As Google” updates as those pages are mobile-optimized. If all of this sounds like you’re in a Peanuts’ cartoon listening to the teacher at the front of the class, don’t stress…we can help.
If you have been waiting for the right time to make your web site mobile-friendly, now is the time. It is good for your customers, and great for your bottom line.
Want to learn more about how we can help prepare your website for the upcoming changes to Google? Click Here or give us a call at 425.277.5005.