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This April Google started rolling out a significant change to their search algorithm that the press has affectionately called Mobilegeddon. The bottom line is that Google is insisting that websites must be usable for the mobile user. Why did they do this? Currently mobile traffic makes up 50% of all traffic that is hitting search engines.
How does Google know if my site is Mobile Friendly? Google has built a set of tools that help them measure this. Those tools are generally available using their Webmaster Tools interface. In the messages you will see a message:
And when you go to the new Mobile Usability section you will see this:
I just had a responsive site built, is this mobile friendly? A responsive site is typically designed to render at many different screen resolutions, but this rarely meets Google’s new standard. You can use Google’s tool to test this and there may be some simple changes that can be made.
Do I need to build a separate mobile site? For some sites this will be a good idea regardless of what Google wants, but for most this will require switching to an adaptive design. An adaptive design will use a mobile template but still leverage the content from the desktop version of the site.
How do I know if my site is mobile ready? The best way is to review the site in webmaster tools. But Google has made their tool available at: https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/mobile-friendly/. Keep in mind, this is only checking a singular page, not the whole site. You should also go to the website on a mobile device and check for yourself.
My site is not mobile ready, what do I do? If you have not updated your site for a while, this may be a great time for that. If your site was built in the last few years there may be some simple changes that can be made. It’s best to have a web developer evaluate what changes need to be made.
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