As April 21th looms on the horizon, many companies are racing to make their websites mobile friendly in advance of Google's well publicized change to how websites will be ranked in their search results.
From Google: "Starting April 21st, 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 on our search results. Consequently, users will find it easier to get relevant, high quality search results that are optimized for their devices."
And it is not just small and medium size businesses that are in trouble. This week, Business Insider UK listed a number of big companies that are in danger as well, including:
- The official website of the British Monarchy
- David Beckham's official site
- The official website for the European Union
- The Scottish National Party
- Windows Phone
- American Apparel
- Channel 4
- Kellogg's UK
- P&O Cruises
- Clairol UK
- Cotton Traders
- Legal and General
- The Daily Mail
If you want to know how your website is going to fair in the new rankings report, Google provides a free tool to grade the mobile friendliness of your website as seen through their eyes.
Simply enter your URL and within a couple of minutes, Google will analyze your website and tell you how mobile friendly your site is and what steps you need to make to improve your results.
In this example I graded the new Toledo.com responsive website that we just re-launched in advance of these coming changes. You have to love it when Google says you are Awesome!
Here is what the the report looks like on a site that is not mobile friendly. (Note: This is not a site that we built.)
Google is telling us that there are several issues with this site. These are the type of issues that will affect this site's search results after April 21st.
- Text too small to read
- Links too close together
- Mobile viewport not set
Here are the results for www.YMCASuperiorCal.org, a Thrive built site that launched on April 1st, 2015.
Another Awesome grade! Thank you Google.
Realize that Google is not arbitrarily making these changes. They recognize that consumers are accessing the web via mobile devices more than desktops.
Google's primary directive is to provide consumers with the very best search results possible. In this evolution of search results, they recognize that providing the best search results means that it is their responsibility to look at the device (smartphone, tablet, desktop, laptop) and return the best results that can be viewed on that device. So while your website may be a perfect match for content, it doesn't matter if the consumer can't read it (text too small to read, links to close together, etc.)
Would you like some help, advise, assistance in making your site mobile friendly? Call us at 419-776-7000 or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thrive is mobile and Google friendly!