As the clock ticks down towards the April 21st deadline, Google’s most expansive algorithm update in years is looming large over website owners without mobile-friendly websites. The update, aptly nicknamed “Mobilegeddon” by SEO experts, stands to make a major impact on organic search rankings by greatly strengthening the power of Google’s mobile-friendly ranking signal.
So what does this mean for website owners? In the words of Google, “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.”
Translation: it’s time to get your website mobile optimized if you haven’t already. The best way to know if your website is 100% Google-approved for its mobile update is to use the tool they provided in their February announcement located here. To use the mobile-friendly test, simply enter the URL of your website and hit “analyze”. Google will then return a simple yes/no response letting you know if your website is ready for the coming change.
Mobile-Friendly Web Design is the New Standard
Google has urged website owners for years to improve the mobile experience of their users, but up until now those recommendations have been met with mixed acceptance. While some savvy website owners immediately recognized the beneficial effects mobile-friendly design has on conversion, many more remain exclusively focused on desktop performance – an increasingly outdated way of thinking, according Jon Wiley, the head of Google’s User Experience Team. The increase in mobile device searches has been impossible to ignore, says Wiley. “Mobile is having a huge impact on how we approach design.”
Just as desktop shipments have declined over the last several years, mobile device use has exploded, with some estimates attributing over 60% of all searches to mobile devices such as smart phones and tablets. This increasing reliance on mobile traffic has meant that, for web developers, mobile web design now is web design. Writing for Forbes, Jayson DeMers has noted that “Due to the widespread (and quickly growing) use of smartphones and tablets, it’s necessary for companies to create content that’s accessible to mobile users… As the shift from traditional PCs and laptops to mobile devices continues, businesses that aren’t onboard are likely to suffer.”
What Can You Do If Your Website Isn’t Mobile-Friendly?
Luckily, it is not too late to optimize your site for Google’s impending update. The best response is to contact experts in website design and ask them if they can code for mobile devices. Even if you miss the April 21st deadline, it’s still better to get a head start on recovering your organic rankings than it is to wait around hoping that Google will revert the changes (spoiler alert: they won’t).
Click here to speak with the website design experts at Sundown Marketing now – we are willing and able to make sure that your website is in full compliance with Google’s mobile update.