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Mobile-friendliness – not a choice anymore. It’s a necessity

By Aron Allen
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It struck.

Google’s Mobilegeddon is finally here to favor the mobile-friendly websites.

Are you still wondering the next best move for your website?

The impact of the algorithm change will be visible in a few days but that shouldn’t stop you from switching to a mobile-friendly version for your website. This change in the search rankings will be seen for mobile users and will have no impact for the users who will be searching using their desktops. The move will not even effect tablet search results, it is only meant to shake the search results for smartphone users.

So what does being mobile-friendly really mean?

It means that your mobile should be visible, comprehensible and crisp when a mobile user accesses it on their device.  If a user is not able to read the content on your website on a mobile device, your website is definitely not mobile-friendly.

I don’t have a mobile-friendly website? Should I worry?

Recent statistics show that there are as many people using mobiles (to access websites) as desktop users. In fact every year, the use of mobile phone users is on a rise at an alarmingly high rate. So getting your site to be mobile-friendly is not really a choice anymore, it is a mandate.

Google’s Mobilegeddon is a move that further reinstates the fact above.

Screen Shot 2015-04-07 at 2.20.01 AM

Source: http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.in/2015/04/rolling-out-mobile-friendly-update.html

How do I get there?

If the desktop version of your website uses Flash or takes a lot of time to download because of the use of fancy large images, a user will not stay on it if accessing it from a smartphone. One of the most important tips to get mobile-friendly is to rework on the website content. And by rework we mean, and only mean, make it concise.

Make it concise

The amount of content that a standard website can clearly depict on a desktop will not be the same for a mobile version of the website. You need to declutter your website not only in terms of content but overall navigation. Ensure that users can easily find information regarding your core offerings/service areas. Testing your website for compatibility on different mobile devices and different operating systems is another critical step, which you just cannot ignore before launching a mobile-friendly website.

Not sure if you have a mobile-friendly website?

Need an expert to analyze your website for its friendliness?

You might also be interested in reading “Google Set to Strengthen Mobile-Friendly Signals”

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Back in 2015 Google made some drastic changes to mobile ranking signals. This is looking to be the second half of the change with some specific change points that Google released in their announcements.

During their announcement, they had this to say:

“Getting good, relevant answers when you search shouldn’t depend on what device you’re using. You should get the best answer possible, whether you’re on a phone, desktop or tablet. Last year, we started using mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal on mobile searches. Today we’re announcing that beginning in May, we’ll start rolling out an update to mobile search results that increases the effect of the ranking signal to help our users find even more pages that are relevant and mobile-friendly.

If you’ve already made your site mobile-friendly, you will not be impacted by this update. If you need support with your mobile-friendly site, we recommend checking out the Mobile-Friendly Test and the Webmaster Mobile Guide, both of which provide guidance on how to improve your mobile site. And remember, the intent of the search query is still a very strong signal — so even if a page with high quality content is not mobile-friendly, it could still rank well if it has great, relevant content.

But remember, from the Mobilegeddon of 2015 to this announcement, it hasn’t just been dead space from Google on the topic of mobile friendly websites.

One of which, was announced not too long ago. Google stated that they don’t place favor on websites that use “whole page banners”. Usually, these come in the form of “download our app here” banners. Here’s what they look like:

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Google has mentioned that they highly prefer mobile-friendly banners like that which Amazon displays on their mobile site.

What Google said about these “interstitials” is this:

“Instead of full page interstitials, we recommend that webmasters use more user-friendly formats such as app install banners…We hope that this change will make it easier for searchers to see the content of the pages they are looking for.”

They also mention that they don’t like sneaky attempts to get around the full page banner punishments.

Yelp continues to use this method as they specifically don’t like Google position on this issue. They want to highlight their mobile app with as powerful a message as they possibly can and feel like Google may be limiting their ability to do this.
And as far as the public faces of Google are concerned, employees like John Mueller say they will likely penalize websites for putting up banners like this.

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We’ll keep tabs on the continued slow roll-out of these changes, but in the meantime we recommend you visit this page and type in your website URL here to get it tested by Google themselves to mobile-friendliness.

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