“Mobile Apocolypse”, “Mobile SEO-Pocolypse”, “Mopocolypse”. Everyone is making a huge deal about the pending Google mobile alogorithm change. “The sky is falling, the sky is falling!”. Enough already!
Yes, it is expected that the change will be ‘significant’ as Google puts it. What does that mean exactly? Who knows? However, most are saying that if your site isn’t mobile friendly according to the google criteria, then come April 21st, your site might disappear from, or experience a large drop in, the mobile SERPs and possibly the desktop SERPs as well. What if this happens to you? Then fix the issue and continue on.
Tip from an Ottawa SEO
Google constantly recommends that all webmasters, whether you’re in Ottawa, Texas or elsewhere, construct their sites so as to ensure a pleasant user experience. Google gives suggestions on not overdoing ads to obscure content, load speed, visual appeal and others. The mobile friendly change is no different in my mind. Focus on user experience. Define what enhances the user’s experience and make sure your website complies. All the Google updates seem to hit the “bad guys”. That’s not a bad thing in my mind. Anyway, here are the questions that Google wants us to keep in mind when constructing our websites (pulled from one of their blog articles):
- Would you trust the information presented in this article?
- Is this article written by an expert or enthusiast who knows the topic well, or is it more shallow in nature?
- Does the site have duplicate, overlapping, or redundant articles on the same or similar topics with slightly different keyword variations?
- Would you be comfortable giving your credit card information to this site?
- Does this article have spelling, stylistic, or factual errors?
- Are the topics driven by genuine interests of readers of the site, or does the site generate content by attempting to guess what might rank well in search engines?
- Does the article provide original content or information, original reporting, original research, or original analysis?
- Does the page provide substantial value when compared to other pages in search results?
- How much quality control is done on content?
- Does the article describe both sides of a story?
- Is the site a recognized authority on its topic?
- Is the content mass-produced by or outsourced to a large number of creators, or spread across a large network of sites, so that individual pages or sites don’t get as much attention or care?
- Was the article edited well, or does it appear sloppy or hastily produced?
- For a health related query, would you trust information from this site?
- Would you recognize this site as an authoritative source when mentioned by name?
- Does this article provide a complete or comprehensive description of the topic?
- Does this article contain insightful analysis or interesting information that is beyond obvious?
- Is this the sort of page you’d want to bookmark, share with a friend, or recommend?
- Does this article have an excessive amount of ads that distract from or interfere with the main content?
- Would you expect to see this article in a printed magazine, encyclopedia or book?
- Are the articles short, unsubstantial, or otherwise lacking in helpful specifics?
- Are the pages produced with great care and attention to detail vs. less attention to detail?
- Would users complain when they see pages from this site?
You can see the full Google blog article here. It’s a few years old but I think the philosophy is still the same.
So what should you do about this mobile apocalypse? Well, you know it’s coming so check your site using Google’s mobile friendly test. Keep in mind that this test is not 100% but it will give you a good idea. Use the mobile usability check in Webmaster tools and/or query your site on a mobile device to see if the results are returned with a “mobile friendly” indication as part of your search description in the SERPs. See below for an image from searchengineland.com that illustrates what a mobile friendly site would look like in the mobile SERPs.
If you get ‘hit’ by the upcoming change, then take steps to determine if one or more of your webpages are not mobile friendly and fix them. Keep in mind that if you haven’t been focussed on enhancing your users’ experiences then there may be much more to it than just how the webpage is rendered on a mobile device. How do you fix the errors? Get help. Companies Custom-Fit SEO, an Ottawa SEO company, can help. Check out their Facebook page and/or their Twitter page.