Is Your Website Ready for Mobilegeddon?

Are you ready for “Mobilegeddon”? No, it doesn’t have anything to do with Bruce Willis blowing things up in space, though it could technically blow your website’s search rankings into smithereens by next month.
In case you haven’t heard about it yet, Google announced on their blog that their newest algorithm will place a large amount of emphasis on mobile-optimization. The algorithm will start its rollout on April 21st, giving you very little time to prepare.
Why is Google implementing this update? 60% of Google searches happen on mobile now, so it’s no surprise that Google would want to improve the experience of their users by giving priority to sites that are mobile-friendly.
Google controls 68% US search traffic, which means that panic ensues anytime they announces a change to the search algorithm that might affect the rankings of millions of websites. We’ve been talking about mobile optimization since 2012, and if you’ve been too busy to put our advice into practice, now is most definitely the time to take action.

Here are 5 facts you need to know about the rollout:

  1. Google has confirmed that your site’s mobile optimization will affect search rankings, even when the search is being done of a desktop computer.
  1. It has also been confirmed that this new mobile-friendly algorithm change will have more of an impact on search rankings than Google’s two previous major algorithms, Panda and Penguin.
  1. There are no “degrees” of mobile-friendliness. To Google, your website is either mobile-friendly or it isn’t.
  1. Exactly how Google will measure mobile-friendliness is not known, so the best thing you can do is developing a robust mobile site instead of trying to somehow “trick” Google.
  1. Google offers a tool called “The Mobile Friendly Test” that allows you to test just how mobile-friendly the search engine considers your website.

To help you get your site in shape before the new algorithm arrives, Google has also identified the top mobile-optimization problems websites tend to have:

  • Blocked JavaScript, CSS and image files – in order for Google to “see” your site as a user would, its Googlebot needs access to your JavaScript, CSS, and image files.
  • Unplayable content – certain types of videos or Flash content don’t play on mobile devices, lowering the quality of the mobile user’s experience.
  • Faulty redirects – if you have a separate mobile website (instead of an HTML5 website that reflows naturally), make sure that your desktop pages link to relevant or equivalent mobile pages, and vice versa.
  • Mobile-only 404s – some webpages will display normally on a desktop computer, but show 404 errors on mobile devices. Do proper testing to ensure your mobile pages are free of 404 errors.
  • Annoying pop-ups – watch out for pop-ups that look normal on your desktop site, but can seriously interrupt user experience on mobile by covering up the entire screen.
  • Slow mobile pages – be sure to test the speed of your mobile site to ensure it is quick enough when loading via 3G and 4G networks.

If these steps sound like gibberish to you, Little Jack Marketing will be happy to help. Contact us today and we’ll send you a free diagnostic of your website’s mobile-friendliness, before Mobilegeddon arrives on April 21st!
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