Don’t Fall Prey to Google’s April 21 Mobile-Friendly Update

If you’re wondering whether Google’s April 21 mobile-friendly update, also called ‘mobilegeddon’ could harm the fortunes of your site, you aren’t the only one. There are many others that could be affected, and we aren’t talking about relatively small and insignificant websites but some of the most reputed ones out there including Kellogg’s UK, the official websites of the European Union and British Monarchy, the Daily Mail, the official website of David Beckham, Nintendo, MI5 and even Windows Phone, among others.

That’s the finding from research by Somo, after claiming to have these sites put through the Google Mobile-Friendly Test. Though the Daily Mail has an app which its mobile site points to, Google does not consider it mobile-friendly. That indicates that Google expects ultimate mobile user-friendliness with a mobile website or responsive website design.

April 21 Mobile friendly Update

People are Searching on Mobile En Masse

The importance of mobile search is such that Google estimates 50% of searches it receives are from mobile devices. But, apparently many organizations and businesses have not taken mobile traffic or mobile visitor experience seriously – 40% of them, according to SearchEngineLand’s Greg Sterling. They are still doing pretty well in the search rankings. This is what Google wants to set right in its claimed quest for satisfying user needs.

It isn’t a secret that Google has been giving indications of moving towards mobile-friendly sites. It has already begun to roll out ranking changes based on information from signed in users’ indexed apps, which can significantly influence search results displays.

Making Your Site Mobile-friendly

With the day already upon us, it’s high time you checked your website’s performance and mobile-friendliness. Google Analytics can be a lifesaver for your website as can the aforementioned Mobile-Friendly Test. There is also the Mobile Usability Report which can give you a picture of how Google’s algorithms see your website. Google also provides the Webmaster’s Mobile Guide which can help you know for sure what kind of mobile-friendliness Google expects from your site.

According to Google’s official Webmaster Central Blog, a page is mobile-friendly if:

  • It contains readable text without zooming
  • The content is sized to the screen which could keep users from having to scroll up or down
  • The links are placed sufficiently apart so users could avoid accidental clicks
  • Software uncommon for mobile devices such as Flash are avoided

The instructions seem fairly straightforward, but you need to start acting immediately before you begin to see your rankings drop. Maybe you would have to recover from a drop.

Act Swiftly – Mobilegeddon is Here

You may need a professional SEO company to help with this quickly. You could also contact your local host. GoDaddy and Bluehost offer quick solutions to create a mobile version for your website, for a charge.

If websites of corporations are likely to be affected by the April 21 update, surely so would sites of small businesses. But Greg Sterling has some reassuring words for the latter. Since most local businesses are found through local search listings and directory services such as Yelp, small businesses could buy some time to update their site by ensuring that their local information on Google My Business, Yelp, etc is updated. It would ensure the continuation of traffic to their site while they make their site mobile-friendly.

About Monica Barber

Monica Barber

Monica Barber is the Internet Marketing Manager of MOS, a leading BPO company in Tulsa, Oklahoma. She joined the MOS team in 2013 bringing with her a wealth of experience in SEO, Social Media, web design and Internet Marketing management. She has successfully designed digital marketing campaigns for Fortune 500 and small to mid-size companies and continues creating new MOS digital strategies to keep up with Google’s everchanging algorithms.