Written by Digital Impact Solutions on May 1, 2015
So unless you have been hiding under a rock, you will have been aware of the announcement recently about Google releasing a mobile friendly update on April 21st that was supposed to have a significant impact on how sites appear when someone does a mobile search. Over a week on now and the results haven’t really been “egeddon” more “trickle” with a lot of the SEO News outlets reporting little or no changes.
This begs the question is it worthwhile making my site mobile friendly and why did Google bother?
The internet is a bit like the combustion engine, constantly evolving. First we had basic sites, basic internet browsers and dial-up modems, then we had broadband and voice IP. Then we have mobile devices and the birth of social media. Throughout these changes Google wants to give a good user experience and so should you if your customers matters. Google announced even as early as last year that mobile searches would become an important factor in 2015 and introduced through Google Webmaster Tools warning messages about how your site looked in mobile devices. Then in February 2015 Google announced that mobile sites would be given a ranking boost in an update that would roll out for about two weeks starting on April 21st.
What Does Responsive Or Mobile Friendly Mean?
Having a responsible or mobile friendly site, basically means the website is easily accessible according to the device it is being viewed on. Think of a site you have recently visited on your phone or tablet, that the buttons didn’t work, or the menu led nowhere, or worst of you couldn’t even see the text it was that tiny. You left that site frustrated only to move on to another site that could be viewed.
How Can I Check My Site Is Mobile Friendly?
When Google announced the update they presented a helpful tool which easily told you if your site passed the test or not. You can find it on the Google Mobile Friendly page. Here you can quickly check to see if your site passes or fails.
My Site Failed, So What?
The answer to this will depend on the site you have and what platform it is built on. If you have a web design agency who designed your site speak to them about making it responsive. With over 40% of people using mobile devices to search for products and services it is well worth the expenditure. If you can’t or don’t want to make your site responsive you could also look into a separate mobile site. However, bear in mind this will have to be redirected correctly so that users on desktops see a desktop version and users on a mobile see a mobile version of your site. See more information about making your site mobile friendly.
I Have Made The Changes, How Long Will I Have To Wait?
Bear in mind the mobile update is not a penalty and runs in real time. So as soon as your site is deemed mobile friendly this will reflect in mobile searches the next time Google crawls your site. Depending on how often Google visits your site will determine when the update happens.
How About Tablets, AdWords And Local Search?
The local map packs, tablets and AdWords are not affected by the update. However, Google has also just started rolling out mobile friendly URL structure’s using breadcrumbs to show pages rather than the dynamic URL.
I Am Still Not Convinced I Should Bother
Pretend Google didn’t exist and people visited your site via a mobile device and couldn’t navigate it properly, or the buttons didn’t work or the video didn’t play, how devastated would you be to realise that you are losing 40-50% of your conversion online just by poor mobile usability. When Google makes a changes, you can guarantee user accessibility is always at the forefront.