Mobilegeddon is here! In case you haven’t heard, Google is going to start weighting how mobile friendly a site is in the mobile search result pages. What does that mean for you? If your site is not mobile friendly by April 21st, Google will be penalizing your site in mobile search, which means it could drop in the rankings. The lower your rank, the less traffic you’ll get from Google search.
You should know that this does not affect other search engines such as Bing or Yahoo. It will also not affect search results on tablets or your compute rs. This change will only effect smart phone search results for Google. It may seem like a small percentage of traffic but one quick look at analytics might confirm that it has a higher effect than you realize.
The clock is ticking. With less than 24 hours until the deadline you have to act now or risk your site being penalized by Google.
This algorithm change will have a bigger impact on search results than both of the last two algorithm changes, Penguin and Panda.
How to Bring Your Site Up To Google’s Mobile Standards
Does your website need help with mobile friendliness? Here are a few ways to quickly make some changes before the deadline.
The best option is to make your site mobile responsive.
- If you’re on WordPress, you can change your theme to a mobile responsive layout. We recommend StudioPress themes on Genesis. That’s easier said than done, and not everyone has the time, skills, or budget to completely change their theme in just a few hours.
- If you’re on Blogger, you’re in the clear. Blogspot.com and other Blogger based sites are mobile friendly by default and since the platform is owned by Google, it’s already in compliance with the mobile friendly standards.
Your next best option if you use WordPress is to use plugins to serve up a mobile view of your existing site. The plugins will detect someone is coming from a mobile device and display a mobile theme just for them. Tablet and computer users will still see your regular theme. Your readers won’t get the full experience of your brand or your theme, but it will be more mobile friendly and it’s an easier measure you can take right now. Always, always backup your website before installing new plugins or changing themes!
If you use Jetpack it has some mobile options built in. Google also recommends WP Touch.
Find more information from Google on making your WordPress site mobile friendly here.
A more complicated option is to add a mobile version of your website. This is different from a mobile responsive website and it’s just a temporary stopgap. These are also known as mdots because they often have the URL of m.yourblog.com
Why is a mobile version not the best solution? With a mobile version you are actually running two different versions of your site. The links are different for each site. Sharing a mobile friendly link to those on desktops will most likely present them with a tiny mobile version of your site on a big screen.
Mobile versions of your site can also be clunky, hard to navigate and not a true representative of your brand’s message. Your ads and sidebars will also not be displayed on most mobile versions.
What Else You Should Know About the Mobile Friendly Change
The algorithm change for Google will take a few days to take effect. While the deadline is tomorrow, then changes won’t take effect until the Google bots crawl to your site again. That could happen tomorrow, next Tuesday or in two weeks. No one knows and you won’t know when it’s going to happen. Easily installing a mobile theme will buy you time until you can get a mobile responsive theme installed.
Updating your blog to a mobile responsive design is no longer an option. Your site needs to be mobile responsive soon. Not only will it help your readers use your site but it will also integrate sidebars and ads in the digital world of mobile phones, which means you can more easily monetize your mobile traffic.