Heads up! If your website isn’t mobile-friendly, your Google rankings could be in for a “significant impact” after April 21. Assume that’s a negative “significant impact.”
On the other hand, if your website is mobile-compatible, it’s eligible for a valuable Google ranking boost. Congratulations!
In February, Google made an announcement that the search engine will expand its use of “mobile-friendliness” as a ranking factor.
Here’s a quote from their announcement:
“Starting April 21, we will be expanding our use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal. 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.”
So, What is a Mobile-Friendly Website?
Last November, Google started labeling sites as “Mobile-friendly” in their search results. Sites featuring this label provide a better mobile web experience in the eyes of Google.
You can see an example of the “Mobile-friendly” label in the Google search results for St. Augustine’s Raintree Restaurant website. Raintree’s previous website was not responsive to mobile devices and would have been penalized with the upcoming Google changes.
Last year, Business Solutions Unlimited developed Raintree’s new website to meet Google’s criteria for mobile-friendliness:
- Avoids software that is not common on mobile devices, like Flash
- Uses text that is readable without zooming
- Sizes content to the screen so users don’t have to scroll horizontally or zoom
- Places links far enough apart so that the correct one can be easily tapped
How Do You Determine if Your Website is Mobile-Friendly?
Checking your site’s mobile-friendliness is easy.
First, hop on your smart phone and search for your website in Google to see if the search results identify your site as “Mobile-friendly.”
Second, head over to Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test and enter your website address. If you get an “Awesome! This page is mobile-friendly.” message, congratulations! You’re good to go for April 21.
If you didn’t get that response, then make plans for a website upgrade if online search visitors are critical to your business.
Google rarely gives businesses warnings prior to search ranking updates. They’ve given you an opportunity to take action before they make this change to their algorithm. That’s an opportunity many should take heed.
If you want help making your website mobile-friendly, give us call. We’re ready to help.