The minute people get an inkling that Google is going to make changes to its algorithm, Webmasters everywhere get into frenzy and small business owners know that the changes are going to have some impact on the way the search engine perceives their business websites. April 21 was the day Mobilegeddon was unleashed on the world. Google had announced this a few months in advance and it set everyone wondering about how it was going to impact them. Let’s take a look at what Mobilegeddon is, its implications and how it changes things.
It’s an update to Google’s algorithm which will give preference to mobile friendly sites over ones that aren’t. So now, when a user performs a search via their mobile device, the search results will only have a list of sites that are compatible for smaller mobile devices. According to Google, a mobile-friendly website is one that:
• Avoids using software like Flash which will not show up on commonly-used devices
• Has text that can be read without zooming-in
• Sizes its content to the screen of the mobile devices without need to scroll (vertical scrolling is acceptable)
• Places all the links sufficiently apart in order that the user be able to tap the links easily
Checking Your Site for Compatibility
One of the first things you will have to check is whether your site is mobile-friendly. If you aren’t too sure, check it via https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/mobile-friendly/. This is Google’s mobile-friendly test. All you have to do is enter your site’s domain address in the bar and click “Analyze”. Google will give you the test results and will tell you whether it is in line with their guidelines for mobile friendliness. If your site gets an “awesome” result- just sit back and breathe easy. But in case, it doesn’t, please don’t flip a switch.
First things First
Think about the extent to which this is immediately going to impact you. There are 2 questions you should be asking at this point and Google Analytics will give you the answers to both.
#1: What is the amount of traffic you get from Google via non-paid/organic searches?
Check Analytics and find out what your traffic sources are. For a number of businesses, Google becomes a very valuable source of traffic. Some sites get accessed via direct traffic/ links from somewhere else. If your business does not rely so much on Google for traffic, you are not going to be significantly impacted.
#2: What percentage of traffic are you currently getting from mobile?
Keep in mind that Mobilegeddon is only going to impact searches via mobile devices. Someone who is actioning a search via their desktop PC will still be able to easily see your site in the search results. The only caveat here is that – mobile devices are becoming increasingly ubiquitous and your site is sure to be impacted in the future, even if it isn’t just now
What’s the Next Thing to Do?
There is no reason to panic and there will be no business impact in the short-term; however it is important to fix this soon. For most businesses, getting a mobile responsive website is the answer. This is the manner in which a site is coded, which helps it size perfectly to the web browser it is being viewed on. This is not a very simple process. If your site doesn’t have responsive technology, it will have to be reconfigured and redesigned. Identify a good Web design & development professional and get your site configured to be in sync with the mobile-driven world we live in.
These are the tools you can use to check your site for mobile-friendliness