On April 21st, Google is going to roll out one of the biggest updates ever to search.
This update could impact your website massively if it is not mobile friendly.
Mobile usage on the internet is increasing at an exponential rate, and now Google are not only recommending you pay attention, they are going to make sure – by penalizing you if you don’t.
What is this Google Mobile Ready update all about, and what can you do about it?
Google has been working their way up to this for a while, but they made an official announcement on February 26th that mobile-friendliness will become a major ranking signal (ie. affect how you appear in search results).
Wondering who will be affected? Here is what Google has to say:
This change will affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide and will have a significant impact in our search results.
To break that down for you:
Of course Google never says what exactly they are going to do, or how, but they have already launched a testing tool for us to use to test our website mobile-friendliness.
This tool tests for things like text size, link accessibility (how easy it is to click links) and other mobile related issues.
Google will be running their update on all pages, so it pays to test quite a few pages on your site.
This search update will affect how your website appears in mobile searches.
You might think this is not important, but more than likely your website is being visited on a mobile device more than 25% of the time. Here are some stats from Marketing Land on an “average” website traffic split, to put this into perspective:
So the big issue here is – are you willing to lose over 20% of your traffic? I am certainly not!
Another interesting point is that this will likely be a “boost style update” – which means sites that are mobile friendly will rise in the Google rankings. However, in reality what it means for you is this:
if your competitors are mobile friendly and you are not, they will move above you in mobile search results.
For more detailed information – see this post that is constantly updated by Moz
There are a number of ways to make a site mobile friendly. This is a topic I blog about frequently, and I have written a detailed post on this recently on Steam Feed.
The short version is this:
For most people the simplest way to solve this problem is to make your website mobile responsive. That means it changes layout and size depending on where it is viewed (mobile, tablet, PC etc).
If you are running WordPress then it is a little simpler because you can just choose a Mobile Responsive Theme and go from there.
If you need some help or ideas choosing a WordPress Theme, this post should help you out a lot.
Some of the sites I recommend using to find a mobile responsive WordPress Theme including:
There are also some great WordPress plugins that can help you turn your website into a mobile responsive one such as:
Another option is to get my team to build you a mobile ready website using either the theme of your choice or by selecting from one of the themes that we love using.
If this is something you are interested, just get in touch and we will help you beat this Google Mobile Update
I don’t know about your business, but I cannot afford to lose 1/3 or more of my visitors to my website.
This update from Google is one of the most well announced and serious updates that have come our way. And given how much warning Google has given us all, I would take it very seriously.
So if you website is not mobile friendly yet (test it here), it is time to put this at the top of your agenda!
Ashley is obsessed with SEO and WordPress. He is also the founder of Mad Lemmings. When he is not busy helping clients get higher on Google he can be found doing crazy sports in the Swiss Alps (or eating too much chocolate - a habit he is trying to break).