Everyone knows the world is going mobile. Given the way users access content on the web, on April 21st, Google began making changes to the way it will be indexing websites moving forward. Does your website pass the new Google indexing criteria?
According to the Google Webmaster Central blog, “Beginning April 21st, we will be expanding our use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal. This change will affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide and will have a significant impact in our search results. Consequently, users will find it easier to get relevant, high quality search results that are optimized for their devices.” What does this mean?
For all you small business owners out there with a website, follow this link and type in your website address. Your site will be checked by Google Developers instantly and you will get a message back from them with either a ‘pass’ or ‘fail’ message. The goal is to get the large green check mark indicating that Google recognizes your site as being ‘mobile friendly’.
If your site does not pass, you will need to contact your website developer. Depending on the type of website you have (custom coded or on a platform like WordPress), the work involved to change your site so that it passes the new Google algorithm will vary, but the cost of not making this change will likely mean a degradation of your site in the search engine indexing results – something no business owner can afford – especially since Google is still the #1 ranked search engine.
For those of you with WordPress based websites, the ideal solution would be to ensure your WordPress theme is what is considered ‘fully responsive’. If it is not, you might consider changing the theme on your site.
As devices continue to change with new technology, along with WordPress and Google changes, finding a theme developer who can stay on top of these changes can be a challenge. It is also possible that a theme that was considered at the time of development to be ‘responsive’, may now no longer be all it can be.
For those of you that have limited funds available for new templates, there are WordPress plug-ins (some free of charge) available that can be installed that will render your website mobile – friendly. While this is not the most ideal solution, it will satisfy the Google requirement for the time being until such time that you can consider a template change.
If you are an online marketer or have a storefront, you might also want to start thinking about a mobile app for your business. Google noted in their blog, “Starting today, (April 21st), we will begin to use information from indexed apps as a factor in ranking for signed-in users who have the app installed. As a result, we may now surface content from indexed apps more prominently in search.”
Note the word ‘may’ in the sentence above. While they may not start doing this immediately, I believe over time as mobile apps become more prominent and affordable for businesses, this too will become a part of their general ranking algorithm.
As always, I welcome your feedback. You can connect with me by phone or email, leave a comment right here on the site, or click the contact tab at the bottom of the screen if you are reading this post on the website.
Until next time,