Google recently announced a change to their search engine algorithm that will come into effect on April 21, 2015. If you have a website, you need to know about this change because it could massively diminish the amount of business you generate from search engine traffic. Especially, if your web site has not been recently updated so it displays well on mobile devices. Here is what Google announced:

Starting 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.

This means that  mobile-friendly web sites will get a significant boost in web traffic. These sites will climb the search engine ranks .

Web sites that are not mobile-friendly will be penalized. Ranking decreases for sites with negative usability metrics.

Google’s mobile SEO update: What you need to know

The impact on your business could be major if you site ranks well on Google. Your company could lose a great deal of organic traffic and consequently business. Companies that sell directly on the web could be impacted directly.

Is your site mobile-friendly?  Find out using Google’s Mobile-Friendly test.

The easiest way to find out if your web site is mobile-friendly is to use Google’s Mobile-Friendly test.  All you have to do is enter your URL. Google will analyze your web site and provide you with your current status. This is what you’ll want to see: Google's mobile seo update: What you need to know

If you don’t get the: “Awesome! This page is mobile-friendly” response you need to do some work to update your web site so it is mobile-friendly.

What you need to do if your site is not mobile-responsive?

You may not want to read this but, you’ll need to completely redesign your site so that it is mobile-friendly. There are no short cuts that comply with the Google algorithm.

Though, there are four triage solutions that could buy you some time while you put together resources and find someone to rebuild your site.

Here are some short-term solutions you may want to consider:

  1. Install a mobile-friendly site plugin. This is not ideal, but if it takes you from no mobile  functionality to some functionality while you implement a more robust solution its not a bad short cut.  Your webmaster should be able to do this in a few hours.
  2. Build a mobile solution that looks for mobile devices and redirects to a subset of mobile friendly pages for high page rank content (pages that rank well on Google).  This should include your homepage and contact pages. This again is better than nothing and will not prevent a loss of SEO ranking completely. Google recommends against it but says its not as bad a no mobile strategy. This would buy some more time likely.
  3. To properly resolve this need a “responsive” redesign that will serve the pages to different devices using CSS (Cascading Style Sheet) technology. This takes the content of the page and formats it for the screen it will be displayed on. 

If you need help figuring out what to do you can ask the experts at Cyberwalker Digital. We’ll give you free advice and guide you to resources that can help you.  Our team of web site strategists and designer understand the changes you are facing and can develop a strategy that supports your SEO efforts