On March 26 Google announced:
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 does this mean to you and your business?
Basically if your site in not mobile responsive – meaning it looks good on any device – then you will be penalized and your ranking will suffer. This will negatively impact your site will because you appear lower, in the results meaning fewer potential customers will find you. Also, it also means if your competitors have a mobile responsive site, they will appear before you, again resulting in a loss of revenue for you and a gain for your competitors.
So how do you tell if your site is mobile responsive?
Just Google your site on a smartphone and see if it has “Mobile-friendly” before the description.
If you see “Mobile-friendly” before your description then you are good to go. If you do not see “Mobile-friendly,” it’s time to make some changes to your site. The first thing to do is to take the Mobile-Friendly Test. This tool was developed by Google, to tell you exactly what you need to do in order to make your site more mobile friendly.
Now that you know what needs to be done to make your site mobile-friendly, here is a short list of great resources that can help:
- Google’s Official Announcement – Google’s announcement on their upcoming update.
- Mobile Usability Report – If you use Google’s Webmaster Tools, the Mobile Usability Report will give you a full list of mobile usability issues across your entire site.
- Mobile-Friendly Test – A great tool by Google, if you want to test the mobile-friendliness of individual pages on your site.
- Google’s Mobile-Friendly Getting Started Guide – This page has multiple guides to help you get started, providing both technical details and advice for working with a developer.
- Google Webmaster Central Hangout – This is an hour long video with John Mueller from Google Switzerland, who answers questions from Webmasters, developers, businesses, etc about this upcoming mobile-friendly update.
Now is the time to seriously look at your site and ensure that it is mobile-friendly before Google rolls out its update on April 21. Google’s Mobile Usability Report, a part of Google’s Webmaster Tools, is the quickest way to find out how mobile-friendly your site is. If you are not currently using Google’s WebMaster Tools, I highly encourage you to start. They provide a ton of great information related to your site. After that, you need to start updating and fixing your site yourself, if you have the technical skills, or by finding a developer who can do prepare your site for Google’s update.