Starting April 21, Google will be changing the way it determines search results of websites worldwide. By making changes to their search algorithm, Google is hoping to pressure more webmasters into providing mobile-friendly websites for users. According to the Pew Research Center, 63% of adults use their smartphones to search the web, and this number is only expected to increase as smartphones and tablets continue to increase in popularity. So Google is changing their algorithm to reward sites that are mobile friendly, and demote those that are not.
How big of a change is the new algorithm? Google’s Zineb Ait Bahajii has said that this change will have a larger impact on search results than either the Google Panda (2011) or Google Penguin (2012) updates (hence the name ‘mobilegeddon‘). And this doesn’t just affect the small-time bloggers either. Big name brands such as Nintendo and American Apparel stand to lose search engine rankings if they don’t make some changes to their websites–and soon!
So how do you know if your website is mobile friendly or not? Google provides an easy-to-use tool that lets you see how your site appears to Googlebot (the robot that searches out websites for Google). All you have to do is type in your website’s URL and hit “Analyze”. Google will do the rest. Among the things tested are text size, viewport, distance between links, and width of content. More importantly, Google offers help on how to make your page more mobile friendly if it fails to meet the mark. Advice ranges from changing your own code, making changes to your content management system (such as WordPress or Joomla), and even how to talk to your web developer about improving your site. If you need help making the leap to mobile, contact Stacey@custominternet.biz.