Google Is Coming – Is Your Site Mobile Friendly?
Google recently announced that on April 21st its algorithm is changing to make mobile friendliness a greater factor in search results. This is intended to increase the quality of search results for mobile users.
Essentially, if your site isn’t friendly for mobile users then your rankings in mobile search will drop.
Google has already confirmed that the update will be significant, bigger even than Penguin and Panda which both wreaked havoc on thousands of websites whilst equally cleaning up results for users.
How does this affect me?
The first thing to do is identify if your website is mobile-friendly. Head over to https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/mobile-friendly/ and insert your website’s URL. Google will tell you if your site is friendly or not friendly for mobile users. Some of the questions Google will ask when testing your website are:
- Are the fonts too small?
- Are clickable links/buttons too close to each other?
- Do you have viewport tags configured?
- Is your content sized to the viewport (do users have to scroll left and right)?
Essentially, what Google wants to know is can a person access your website on their mobile phone without having to zoom in or scroll left and right, whilst being able to easily press links and buttons with their fingers? If the answers to these questions are all yes, you’ll probably be OK.
What can I do?
The simplest way to identify which specific changes to make, and how to make them, is to access Webmaster Tools and navigate to Search Traffic > Mobile Usability where Google will tell you which pages have issues and how to fix these issues.
Fortunately, Google’s algorithm is on a page-by-page basis meaning if your homepage is responsive but contact page isn’t, it’s only the contact page that will slip in mobile rankings.
This is good news for those with limited time and resources to meet the deadline as you can prioritise the most important pages.
However, it’s still crucial that your site is responsive as soon as possible, with your most important pages being responsive by April 21st (the update will be rolling out across the week so you may have a few days before Google crawls your site)