In Google’s recent announcement on mobile search, a new algorithm update will begin this April 21st and affect more website rankings than ever before. Even Google’s initial quake of Panda in 2012 affected only 12% of website queries. But the new update (which will be named at birth by Search Engine Land) will admittedly affect over 40% of mobile queries.
It is unclear at this stage to what degree each site will be affected but it is known that it will hang in balance between websites being mobile optimized and not being mobile optimized. It is also unclear as to if the new algorithm will affect only mobile search queries or all of search queries.
Below, we’ll show you how to navigate the decision making process when going mobile-friendly. There are a few ways to go and each has its pros and cons which is laid out for you. Much of your direction in going website “responsive” will be dictated on how easy or fast it can be to work with and change your existing website setup.
Google initially announced it’s commitment to improving mobile search in late January and since Google is warning the public ahead of time, it is a wise decision to use this time to prepare. So if you haven’t started, waste no more time and get going!
Here is how to get compliant with Google’s requirement for mobile responsive website design.
“What do I care if my site isn’t ready for mobile?”
Unfortunately, many website owners are still in the thinking that mobile is irrelevant to their business. This is typical of companies who sell mostly or all B2B. They’ll say, “My customers only search via desktop in their office.” or “We are trying to target the purchasing manager in businesses. They don’t buy on their cell phones or tablets.”
Even though the bulk of the search IS still on desktop for those companies, there is still a fast growing necessity to be mobile responsive; mainly for 2 reasons:
“Is my site mobile-friendly now?”
Yes- Great job! Carry on with your life!
Not sure? Here’s how to find out: https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/mobile-friendly/
We can assume the Google’s algorithm is going to be taking in more website data than the mobile-friendly tool analyzes but it is a good place to start. If you’re site has failed the test, hopefully you’re not surprised and are ready to take action.
Time to get responsive and be responsive. There is really 2 directions to go when becoming mobile-friendly.
Initially there was speculation on whether it was better to do a whole responsive redesign or a mobile only responsive design. However, Matt Cutts has confirmed that Google will know by virtue of the site’s user-agent instructions that your site is mobile-friendly.
Matt Cutts on Duplicate Content on Mobile Sites.
Pros vs. Cons in Both Redesign Options
Full Website Redesign Pros
Full Website Redesign Cons
Mobile-Only Website Creation Pros
Mobile-Only Website Creation Cons
Tips on Going Mobile-Friendly
Options for redesigning an entirely new website.
Option on how to get ONLY the ‘mobile-friendly’ website:
Next step kick up the feet and basque in the glory that is your new mobile-friendly website. You will no doubt reap the benefit of having one. Here at KSP, we don’t agree with a lot of the stuff Google does. However in this case, we see it as strong nudge getting online advertisers current with the times and that’s a good thing.
My last advice is don’t cut corners on this. There is no point to spending any time and money on going mobile-friendly if it doesn’t help users navigate your site better and increase sales.
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