Google Says Your Website Must Be Mobile-Friendly ASAP

Google has announced it’s next big algorithm change, and it’s right around the corner. On April 21, 2015, Google “will be expanding our use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal.”

Why is Google pushing mobile-friendly websites?

According to comScore, the number of mobile Internet users officially passed desktop Internet users in 2014 – and the number mobile Internet users continues to grow at a rapid pace!

Mobile Internet Users vs Desktop

Google has been closely following this rapid growth. Because Google’s ultimate goal is to provide the end user with the best quality results to their searches, it only makes sense that the best search results would need to bring users to websites that worked well on not only their desktops, but on their smartphones, tablets and smartwatches as well!

Therefore, Google has decided that now is the time that it will require websites to be mobile-friendly in order to have the best chance of ranking well in their search engine. In a blog post to the world, Google announced it’s April 21 algorithm update, stating that:

“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 exactly does this mean for my website?

It means that as of April 21, 2015, one of the things that Google will look at significantly is whether or not your website works well on mobile devices. Think about it, are your customers able to easily navigate your website on their smartphones and tablets to find the information that they need? Does your website show up clearly on mobile devices, or do you have to pinch and zoom the screen and move it all around to access different information?

If you’re not sure if your website is mobile-friendly, you can try to check it yourself using Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test, or you can send us a quick message here and we’d be happy to take a look at it for you.

I have a mobile website and a regular website, is that ok?

When you pull up your website on your smartphone, does the URL at the top change from “yourwebsite.com” to “m.yourwebsite.com” with an added “m.” in front of it? This means that you actually have a separate mobile website attached to your regular website. While this should get you by this April 21st Google algorithm update, this isn’t the method that Google prefers anymore.

Google prefers Responsive Website Design.

Responsive Website Design

While Google can be secretive about many of their methods and preferences when it comes to website design and search engine ranking factors, they are actually very clear about their preference towards Responsive Website Design (RWD). Here is a direct quote from their Google Developers website: “Google recommends using RWD over other design patterns.” You can’t get much clearer than that.

A few years ago, having an “m.” mobile websites was the preferred mobile-friendly method, but that was before Responsive Website Design. With an “m.” mobile website, you essentially have two websites: they are designed separately, changes made to one don’t automatically show up on the other, and content duplication can become an issue with Google search rankings. But with Responsive Website Design, you have one website that automatically moves and adjusts to ANY mobile device!

Want to check if your website is responsive? Simply use your mouse to drag and resize your website on your desktop – if the text and pictures automatically rearrange themselves to keep showing up in the decreasing size of your website, your design is responsive.

Need help making your website mobile-friendly and responsive?

Don’t panic, we’re here to help. Simply contact Autoshop Solutions and we’ll be happy to take a look at your website, give you our recommendations, answer your questions, and help you make sure your website is SEO optimized, mobile-friendly and ready for Google’s next algorithm shift. We’ve been building all of our new websites with Responsive Website Design for a long time now in order to stay ahead of Google’s updates, and encourage all of our current and potential customers who don’t have responsive websites to give us a call!

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Written by Jessica Lucas

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