Googles Mobile-Friendly Update: What you need to know

google mobile friendly testerBack in February of 2015, Google Announced that it would be updating it's algorithm to provide more relevant results on mobile. Basically they said that websites that were not mobile-friendly (Either responsive or having a mobile version) then you would suffer the wrath of the Goog. OK, maybe nothing quite that dramatic, but the idea is that when people are searching for content from mobile devices, they don't want to see your crappy desktop only website.

As of April 21, 2015, this change is in effect. So what does it mean for you? Well, if your website isn't Responsive or doesn't have a mobile version (You can check your Mobile Friendly-ness using Google's handy little tool) then when users do searches from a mobile device, chances are you're going to end up further down in the results than you would have seen previously.

That said, if a user searches from a desktop computer then you won't be penalized in the rankings at all, it's only mobile searches from mobile devices where the ranking issues come into play. Now some of you may be thinking "Well, I don't need to worry then!" think again. Mobile usage hit 50% in December 2014 and is growing like a weed. The longer you wait, the more you are losing out to the competition.

If you think your customers and visitors are NOT using mobile, try going out in public. How many people are walking around with their heads in a laptop? And how many with their heads in the phones? Get the point?

Yes, it can be costly and/or complicated to redo your website with a mobile-first design strategy, but Google is making it a bit easier to get started. This new change is not a site-wide kind of deal. It allows you to work on a page by page basis. If you know what your most popular pages are from search results, you could work on getting these pages mobile-friendly and work your way up. This way, at least your already popular content can remain that way, and your very important mobile readers will thank you for it!

Check out Googles FAQ about this change.


Tags: ux, rwd, responsive, mobile, google, search

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