By Corrinda Campbell
On April 21st, 2015 Google changed the mobile search landscape by announcing that search results appearing on Smartphones will not include websites that aren’t mobile ready.
It matters to you if you have or are going to have a website. You need a mobile ready, preferable responsive, website that is easy to view and use on phones and tablets.
If you already have a website that isn’t mobile ready then you must consider your audience, website objectives, and marketing tactics with regarding how and when you’ll convert the site. And for any kind of new website the requirements must include mobile views on phones and tablets.
What is Mobilegeddon?
Google is usually very circumspect with regard to exactly how their search algorithm selects the websites that it displays to you when you ask it to do a search, on say cat videos.
In February they made a rare announcement where they explained how mobile search results will change in April 2015. They wanted to give people plenty of time to adjust to the change and unlike other algorithm variables, this one really can’t be used to “game the system”. Note that isn’t a challenge to all of the “Black Hat” SEO practitioners to figure out a way.
How does it affect my website?
Important – This does not mean that if your site is not mobile friendly that it will not display in the web browser. If a visitor goes directly to your site or links to it from someplace else it will display as it always has.
The change only effects the Google search results page (SERP) that is displayed on Smartphones. It does not include results that appear on tablets or computers.
Do I need a mobile ready website?
Yes, is the short answer.
While this change only affects search results on Smartphones, my opinion is that it’s only a matter of time until this change applies across all devices and computers. And with the rapid increase in the use of mobile devices, if you want your brand, website, products/services, and business to look professional then a mobile website is a must.
When and how to make the change depends on your particular use of the website. For sites that don’t rely on paid or organic results and don’t have a high number of visitors using phones to visit their sites, you have a little more time to plan the switch to mobile. If the reverse is true for your website, then you need to address your mobile issues yesterday.
How do I know if my website is mobile ready?
Google has provided a handy tool to test your website, the Mobile-Friendly Test page. Enter your website address to see if Google thinks your site is good to go.
This page only tests the site for mobile readiness it doesn’t show you what your site looks like.
There are a number of useful mobile device emulators that allow you to see what your site looks like on different devices. When you’re using these tools remember they’re emulating the different views. And while they’re pretty good always check at least on your own phone and tablet.
A couple of good emulators: Responsinator.com and MobileTest.me. If you want even more specific information you can review the Mobile Usability report in Google Webmaster Tools.
Post by Corrinda Campbell. Owner of Small Business WP Services since 2009, Corrinda helps make sure your website is doing it’s job so you can focus on what you love doing. She helps business owners make smart decisions and with the heavy lifting or even all of the lifting. And is the lead organizer of the Denver WordPress Meetup and co-organzier of WordCamp Denver. A Colorado resident since 2000, Corrinda has lived on both coasts and enjoys gourmet cooking, skiing, books, and her furry office assistants Rex and Oliver. Connect with her at [email protected].