On Thursday, February 26, 2015, Google notified the world of an upcoming algorithm update that will be rolled out on April 21st. More specifically, this algorithm update will target websites that aren’t mobile-friendly.
Here’s how Google phrased it over at Google Webmaster Central:
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.
Obviously, the date is important but did you notice the word in bold.
I’m not sure what dictionary you use but my dictionary defines significant as follows:
sufficiently great or important to be worthy of attention; noteworthy.
In layman’s terms: You better heed their warning or pay the consequences.
Because this impending algorithm update will have more of an impact than Penguin or Panda.
Again, in layman’s terms: If your website isn’t mobile-friendly, you can expect it to lose significant ranking.
For example, I have a client in a competitive market that sits on Page 1, Position 1 within his local SERPs.
Obviously in that position, the site I built him generates a good amount of new patients every single month.
But guess what?
He refuses to update his website to a mobile-friendly site because he still likes the one I designed for him back in 2010.
Even though I’ve warned him several times to make the update, unfortunately he’ll learn the hard way. When April 21st rolls around, Google will penalize him, his ranking will fall significantly and he’ll lose new patients.
How can you avoid this?
1. Find out if your website is mobile-friendly
You can easily find out whether your website meets Google’s mobile-friendly criteria using the following two free tools:
- Google’s quick mobile-friendly test tool provides results for one page at a time. Use this as an initial test and to check whether a particular page is recognized as mobile friendly by Google’s search engine.
- The more extensive (and free) Webmaster Tools service provides a wealth of information about the health of your site within Google’s search system.
Look for the ‘mobile usability’ report (in the Search Traffic menu) that identifies pages on your website that Google has not been able to score as ‘mobile-friendly’. The report will provide specific feedback for those pages to help you complete your mobile-friendly transition.
If your site fails these tests, it is in your best interests to invest some effort into making your website mobile-friendly. Otherwise, you’re risking a drop in your website’s overall ranking.
Another option is to simply visit your website on a smartphone. If you see the mobile-friendly label, then your website is in good shape.
2. Fix your website before April 21st
If your website is built in WordPress, here are two easy solutions to fixing this problem:
1. CLICK HERE to request a site redesign.
I can only handle a maximum of 10 requests before Google’s deadline so first come, first served.
2. Invest in WPtouch Pro — a WordPress plugin that allows you to convert your existing website into a mobile-friendly site.
Buy the plugin, upload it to your site, activate it and you’re done.
If your website isn’t built in WordPress, contact your webmaster ASAP!
Question: What did you find out? Is your site ready for Google’s mobile algorithm update?