Praying on gangsas ... with a cell phone.

Praying on gangsas … with a cell phone.

Google has announced that its latest — and perhaps most powerful — algorithm update will go to work April 21st, 2015. The update, which nicknamed “Mobilegeddon,” will introduce web site mobile friendliness as a ranking factor.

If you have a web site of any kind, this update will affect you. We just don’t know exactly how right now.

Here’s what we do know.

When you wake up on April 21st, if your web site is mobile friendly, your search engine results for key words may be higher. Competitors who haven’t made their web sites mobile friendly may find themselves in extremely low search results positions (several pages down).

Note how I keep mentioning Google? This algorithm is a Google update only.

Why the April 21 Google update will affect you

Consider these stats:

  • 61% of online searches are made with mobile phones.
  • 79% if mobile searchers say they’ll only do business with mobile-friendly web sites.
  • Marketers say that of mobile searches, 70% lead to purchases.
  • Only 11% of web sites are mobile friendly.

By the time of this writing, perhaps the number of mobile-friendly web sites has risen.

If your web site is mobile friendly, you will probably see an increase in “foot traffic” to your web site beginning April 21, assuming that at least some of your competition hasn’t woken up and smelled the coffee.

If your web site isn’t mobile friendly, your web site will either decrease in the search engine results pages (SERPs) or disappear. We have no idea. We do know that bad things will happen to your web site if you dare to call Google’s bluff on April 21st, 2015.

So why take the gamble by doing nothing?

If all you can afford is to get your 18-year-old nephew to crank out a WordPress web site for you, do it.

This morning, I spoke with two people whose web sites are, regrettably, behind the times. Instead of paying someone with real knowledge (which they must not respect, or they’d use it), one is contacting his young “IT” relative to make a web site. The other is going to do it himself. Neither must believe a thing I’ve told them about design, usability, good writing, and search engine optimization (SEO).

But you know what? If these folks don’t think they need help, then they don’t need help. Those who know they need help will pay for and value it.

How to make your web site mobile friendly

  • Take the mobile-friendly test (https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/mobile-friendly/) to determine whether your web site is at all mobile friendly.
    • By the way, mobile friendly and responsive are virtually the same thing, but not always. Some companies have chosen to develop two web sites, one optimized for mobile and the other for desktop usage. The web site detects your browser and sends you on to the right web site.
  • Make your web site responsive. Google has indicated that it may prefer a responsive web site to two web sites (one mobile and one desktop optimized). You can hire someone to make your web site responsive, or you can redesign your web site using a responsive theme (if you’re using WordPress or another content management system).
  • Make sure your web site is fast enough. Mobile-friendly web sites still contend with slow network connections, browser cache memory, and JavaScript parsing. Be sure you’re offering your customers the best web site experience by optimizing your page’s load time (https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights/). If Google makes recommendations you don’t understand, find a developer who can fix errors.
  • Optimize images on your web site. Because bandwidth continues to grow and more nonprofessionals create their own websites, many of us tend to forget that keeping image size to a minimum is important.

The April 21 Google update will affect you

by susan time to read: 3 min
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