Mobile-friendly websites, Google, Raleigh

Have you typed a term into Google search on your phone recently? If so, you’re in good company – as some estimates say more than six out of every 10 Google searches are mobile. If you’ve been in the six or seven, did you find what you were looking for? Did your search results provide a link to a relevant, mobile-friendly site, one that could be viewed easily on your phone?

Google wants to ensure its mobile users are getting “friendly” results. Consequently, in 10 days the company will institute a significant change in how it ranks pages in mobile searches.

Unlike previous changes in its algorithm which have been top secret (but had plenty of folks speculating about them), Google announced this change in advance. The company gave a “heads up” to web developers and website operators so improvements could be made before the April 21 implementation. (In anticipation of the date and potentially significant impact of the changes, some have dubbed the event “Mobilegeddon.“)

If you operate a website, how are your customers searching for you? Chances are good that they are, or soon will be, searching from their phones for the products, services or information you offer.

Is your website “mobile-friendly”?

For site pages that are not optimized for mobile users, Google will give lower ranking in its mobile search results beginning April 21. To evaluate your site’s readiness for the changes, Google has made two tools available:

• Mobile Friendly Test – For testing individual pages, identifing conflicts with the initial “mobile friendly” qualifications

Mobile Usability Report – A more comprehensive evaluation within Google Webmaster Tools to view your site as Google sees it

In addition, Google provides a list of the most common mobile mistakes so you can avoid them.

The impact of the upcoming Google changes will be primarily, if not exclusively, on mobile searches. The company has indicated that searches on desktop, laptops and tablets will not be impacted on April 21. Some experts predict, however, that Google will be introducing more mobile-related changes in the future as searches from mobile devices continue to increase. So if you have not addressed mobile accessibility issues with your site, it’s advisable that you do so in the very near future.

Starting from square one to optimize your site for mobile? There are two options: responsive design or a dedicated mobile site. There’s no shortage of debate about which option is best, as each has its pros and cons. Here’s one post that covers the basics in the context of “mobile-friendly” readiness.

Page Progressive frequently designs responsive websites. WordPress offers numerous responsive templates, and the WP-Touch plugin adds responsive functionality to a non-optimized template. Need help navigating the options to find the right mobile option for you? Contact us! We deal with these issues on behalf of our clients daily and are glad to help.

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Image courtesy of Stuart Miles/