As mobile web traffic continues to increase, Google will now begin to penalize your business if does not have a mobile ready website.
This update to Google’s algorithm has been commonly referred to as Mobilegeddon. This update should be no surprise. Google has been warning website owners for years. A few months ago they set the date. Starting April 21, websites that are not mobile friendly will begin to be penalized.
How Will Your Site Be Penalized?
At this point, it is unknown how comprehensive the penalties will be. Over the next few days, we should be able to better understand the penalty process. It will most likely begin in lower search rankings.
Imagine spending years optimizing your site and being penalized for design. Of course if you have been working this hard on your site, you probably have been working to prepare your site for this update.
How Many Sites Will Be Affected?
It is estimated that more than 40% of all websites will be affected by this algorithm update. This includes some of the Internet’s largest websites. Large, legacy websites can be some of the most challenging to “mobilize”. This particular update will most likely affect more sites than any previous update,
Will My Site Be Affected?
Google has made it extremely easy for website owners to test their websites. Simply go to Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test page and enter your website’s address in the search bar. Google’s search bot will then analyze your site. If your site doesn’t pass, it will tell you the steps you need to take.
If you own or run a website you will probably see some effect from this update. If your site passes the test you may see some additional traffic. With any update to Google’s search algorithm, the amount of sites affected and their search ranking is unknown.
What Will Make My Site Mobile Friendly?
Google is not really asking for much. The Google search bot will scan your site for:
- Software not typically found on mobile devices. The biggest culprit will be websites designed using Flash,
- Text that is readable without having to zoom. Minimum font size should be between 16 and 18 pixels.
- Content areas should resize automatically to fit the device. This is typically known a responsive design.
- Any links used on your site should be easily accessed by tapping.
The thing to keep in mind is that a mobile ready website will not only make the Google bot happy, but also your website visitors.
What Can Be Done If I Don’t Have a Mobile Ready Website?
If your site was built using WordPress, chances are you can easily change your site’s theme. Almost every modern WordPress theme worth their salt will pass the Google Mobile-Friendly test. If you aren’t comfortable doing this yourself, you can get in touch with your local designer or developer. Most premium themes cost less than $100 and if there are no issues, you can expect to pay about the same to have your site updated.
The Main Takeaways
This update will affect about 40% of websites. You can easily test your site by going to Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test page. If your site doesn’t pass the test, you can have your site updated for as little as $200.