On April 21, Google will start rolling out its new mobile-friendly algorithm update. It is going to be implemented worldwide and will take about a week.
With mobile search increasing on Google by 54% in Q4 of 2014*, Google obviously feel it is important for people to enjoy a better experience on their handheld devices and not put up with sites that are hard to navigate or read.
There will be a very simple outcome to this update, namely that sites will either be mobile-friendly or not. There will be no grey area. Google aren’t looking to penalise those that aren’t mobile-friendly, they will simply provide higher ranking to those that are.
According to Gary Illyes from Google, the great thing about this algorithm update is that it will look for mobile compatibility on a page-by-page basis so you don’t have to make sure your entire website is updated, just those you want to rank on mobile. He also revealed that this will be a live search function, so if you don’t manage to make your site mobile-friendly by April 21, it will be indexed the next time Google crawls your site and seen as mobile-friendly from then on.
You can easily check if your site is mobile-friendly with this simple tool given to us by Google:
This tool will only score the exact URL you put in, so you may have to check a few to get a complete picture.
If your site isn’t mobile-friendly you will see this page, with ideas on how to improve your site:
If it is mobile-friendly you will see this page:
You can, as an alternative, search for your site on your mobile. Simply type site:www.youdomain.com into the search bar. This will bring up all your indexed pages in the search results.
You will see the phrase ‘Mobile-friendly’ if your site passes the test, as follows:
If you find that your site hasn’t passed the test, however, you should look into making it mobile-friendly soon.
A responsive site will be best. You should then use Google webmaster tools to address any mobile usability issues, and finally, monitor what happens to your rankings and traffic after April 21.
You can read more about this subject on the Moz blog here
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