Posted by Clayton Johnson | March 24, 2015
Google next big update is going to target non-mobile friendly sites and is expected to roll out April 21, 2015, and roll out for a few days to a week.
This is a big one, and could affect a large portion of your traffic.
That’s why here at the HOTH, we’re going to break down the hype and make it simple for you to understand!
Here’s What’s Going On:
In the last few years, mobile traffic has increased dramatically. It’s speculated that more than 50% of Google searches are performed on mobile.
Even Google is saying this update is going to have a bigger effect on search rankings than Panda or Penguin, the biggest updates Google has ever launched, as quoted by a member of Google’s Webmaster Trends team, Zineb Ait Bahajji at SMX Munich.
The problem is many sites are not responsive, meaning that they were only built for desktop computers and are hard to navigate on mobile devices.
Here’s a picture of what the difference would be like between a mobile site and a non-mobile version:
Google doesn’t want to serve up results that don’t are not user friendly, so they are implementing a new algorithm change to demote sites that aren’t usable on phones and tablets.
On a positive note, if your site IS mobile friendly, google will add a little tag to it like the one below:
If you have clients, this is a GREAT time to upsell them on a new website (money in the bank and rankings preserved, #kaboooom)!
How To Find Out If You Will Be Affected
Google has officially announced the update and it’s coming on April 21, 2015 so you still have time to prepare your site.
Here’s how to find out if you are mobile friendly or not:
1) Webmaster Tools
Google has been sending out messages like the one below via webmaster tools for all affected sites, but if you don’t have webmaster tools installed, you wouldn’t get a warning.
2) Google Mobile Friendly Test
You can also check your site using the Mobile-Friendly Test tool here. Just plug in your domain and Google will tell you if it thinks you are mobile friendly or not.
3) Quick Personal Mobile Test (Bust out your phone)
You can also just search for your site on your mobile phone, and see if Google displays a mobile friendly tag.
What To Do If Your Site Is Not Mobile Friendly
Google has said there is no degree of mobileness, it’s either yes or no.
For many people, this is super easy to fix – If you’re using WordPress and your site isn’t mobile responsive, you probably have an OLD theme and it’s time to update the design of your website anyways.
All you have to do is install a new “responsive” them, test again with this tool, and you’ll be good to go!
Example: I was able to take an old website of mine which didn’t pass the Google Mobile test, add a new theme, and viola, problem solved in less than 3 min.
You can find lots of free themes that are responsive via the wordpress admin, or you can go to a site like Theme Forest and search for a new awesome theme for your site.
Alternatively, if you are operating on another type of CMS other than WordPress, you can probably find a new responsive theme for that as well. Theme Forest, for example, also sells lots of e-commerce themes as well as HTML templates.
(No affiliate links, Theme Forest is just awesome)
If you are not running on a CMS, I would consider upgrading to a popular CMS. If not, you can follow this guide here for some additional resources on making your site mobile friendly.
Google’s mobile update is prepared for launch April 21, 2015. Make sure your site is ready so you don’t lose rank!
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If you found this helpful, please share this article with your circles with the buttons on the left (we’re trying to bring everyone up to speed before April 21st!!).
If you have any questions, let us know in the comments!
Clayton Johnson is the CMO of The HOTH SEO company. He has over 8+ years experience in the SEO industry and has spoken at events like SEJ Summit. The HOTH has been featured in Inc 5000, Forbes, SMX, Pubcon, Content Marketing World, Affiliate Summit, Brighton and more.