‘Mobilegeddon’ is almost here

On April 21st mobile friendliness is becoming a ranking signal in Google's algorithm

On April 21st, mobile friendliness is officially joining the ranks…of ranking signals!

There are basically three ways to prepare your site for Google’s impending algo update, which will affect your site’s rankings – for the good or bad – depending on the degree of its mobile friendliness. This update is anticipated to have significant effect on the search engine results (hence the dramatic moniker); remember, the introduction of the mobile friendly tag was consequential but didn’t influence rankings. Also remember that this update is page specific, so certain pages of your site may be affected and others may not be.

Hopefully you have prepped for Mobilegeddon already, and you’re just waiting to reap the benefits! But if you haven’t prepped for this day, there’s a good chance that you’ll see a drop in your ranking position and traffic numbers over the coming weeks.

How to Survive Mobilegeddon

So for the latter group, consider your options, and get moving. You can:

  • Create a separate mobile site, like m.beallsflorida.com, include a rel=alternate tag to show Google where your mobile pages are, and redirect users on mobile devices. This would be considered a secondary, “mdot” site. (And use rel=canonical to lead Google from your mobile site back to your desktop site.)
  • Keep the same URLs of the main site but serve different HTML and CSS to mobile and desktop users.
  • Redesign with a responsive (mobile friendly) design, meaning it scales to any screen. URL, CSS and HTML all stay the same.

When you see the option to “See main/mobile site” it means the site is either a separate mobile site or the same URL but with different HTML and CSS. These methods (the first two bullets) require maintenance of two sets of sites or content, and therefore higher costs, and are quite positively not your best option for the long term. Also, while Google does support those methods, it now strongly encourages moving to a responsive design. It’ll be the highest upfront cost, but it should pay off.

Does your site make the mobile friendly cut?

Take Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test, and read Google’s guides on making your site mobile friendly.

In general, remember to space links far enough apart for foolproof tapping, not to use flash or other technologies that aren’t common on phones, and format content to be readable without zooming or scrolling horizontally. And even if your site isn’t optimized on a whole for mobile, you should at least optimize your homepage and other important pages whose rankings you want to maintain.

We’re here to help you become mobile friendly. Get in touch even if you just want to discuss with us the current state of your site and which options are best for you.

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