Google’s Mobile-Friendly Website Change – Why It Matters to You!
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is 50% science and 50% art. The science consists of researching the phrases being used to find the products or services that you offer. The art is the “weaving” those phrases into the meta tags and page text in the correct places (keyword proximity) and frequency (keyword density) while keeping it all readable to the visiting human.
SEO done this way has been incredibly successful and stood the test of time for us and for our website clients since we first began in 1999. We have never worried, as many other developers do, about the dreaded Google algorithm changes that occur from time-to-time. That’s because these algorithm changes typically counter tricks that developers have used to attempt to fool the search engines. We’ve never done that.
Google’s latest update, coming online April 21st, will make perhaps the most significant algorithm change that we have ever seen…the Mobile-Friendly Website change. If your company’s website is not mobile device friendly (for tablets and smartphones) your search engine page rankings will suffer “significantly” according to Google’s announcement. Sites that are not mobile-friendly will very likely dramatically drop in Google’s search results when displayed on mobile devices.
How Can I Keep My Website Current?
At Web-Sites-For-Less.com we are all about keeping our clients websites secure and up-to-date. The latest Google algorithm change is different from anything we have seen before. Rather than focusing on keywords and content, Google aims to reward mobile-friendly websites when displayed on mobile devices. Because of our ongoing efforts to keep our client’s website state-of-the-art, this change only affects two or three of our oldest WordPress websites.
You may have the perfect content and show up on page 1 of Google for several keyword phrases, but if your site cannot be properly displayed on mobile devices, that is surely going to change. With over half of all Internet searches now being made on mobile devices (and that number is growing everyday) it’s easy to understand the enormity of the issue. This algorithm change could sink your business if you depend on search engine traffic and your website is not mobile-friendly.
Does Google’s Mobile-Friendly Algorithm Change Affect Me?
The vast majority of websites currently on the Internet are not mobile-friendly. Is yours? How can you know for sure?
You can check your website in one of several ways:
1. From a smartphone, simply go to your site. If you have to squeeze, drag, enlarge and reduce your website in order to read the words on your smartphone…your website is not mobile-friendly.
2. From a mobile device, do a search for your website in Google. The listing returned will tell you if the site is mobile friendly.
3. From your desktop, check your website by going to Google’s “Mobile-Friendly Test” page and entering your website’s address. You will see the following if your website is not mobile-friendly…
If your site tests as mobile-friendly, you can relax. If it’s not, you need to make a change, but there is no need to panic. First, this mobile-friendly website change shouldn’t have a major impact on desktop searches. Second, if your site is not mobile-friendly now, throwing something together quickly won’t help as Google likely won’t be able to index it in time. Your best course of action is to have a new quality website developed. Once the new site is indexed by the search engines your rankings on mobile devices will begin to recover.
The Need for Responsive Website Design
There are three main methods for developing a website that is mobile-friendly:
Create a separate mobile site (two independent websites)
Using dynamic serving websites
Responsive Website Design
The first two are effective but require multiple URLs or a single URL with duplicate content. They are more time consuming to maintain when content needs to be changed or uploaded. Google’s “best practice” method is Responsive Website Design. That is the method we use at Web-Sites-For-Less.com.
Responsive websites are able to detect the resolution (or width) of the device they are being requested to display on and reformat themselves automatically for that device as well as the device’s current orientation — portrait or landscape. And, when mobile devices are rotated these websites reformat “on the fly”. All of our websites have been developed with this capability for the past three or four years.
Last month Forbes Online published a short but informative article about this subject. We recommend that you read “Now Is The Time For Responsive Design” on the Forbes website.
My Website Is Not Mobile-Friendly — What Do I Do?
At Web-Sites-For-Less.com we specialize in developing affordable responsive (mobile-friendly) WordPress websites with effective organic SEO. We now manage 40 such sites for our clients. If your website does not test mobile-friendly, we are available to help you.
If you have questions or concerns please contact us now. We have cost effective responsive mobile website solutions that will bring your Internet presence into the 21st century and make this most significant Google algorithm change work for you instead of against you!
At Web-sites-For-Less.com we have been successfully developing and optimizing our client’s websites for the major search engines…Google, Bing, and Yahoo…for over 15 years. Our SEO method was developed in about 2001 by a 16-year old office intern and we have never changed it. We use no tricks…it’s simply content-based. Telling them what you do and where you do it. It’s almost that simple.