Mobile first indexing
If your website is not mobile friendly, according to Googles definition, you will lose your Google ranking:-
Googles new policy is called Mobile first indexing :-
This is how Google explain it
Today, most people are searching on Google using a mobile device. However, our ranking systems still typically look at the desktop version of a page’s content to evaluate its relevance to the user.
To make our results more useful, we’ve begun experiments to make our index mobile-first. Our algorithms will eventually primarily use the mobile version of a site’s content to rank pages from that site.
We understand this is an important shift in our indexing and it’s one we take seriously. We’ll continue to carefully experiment over the coming months on a small scale and we’ll ramp up this change when we’re confident that we have a great user experience.
Well, Google have done ramping it up and are implementing it in full from Jan 2017.
What this means for you is that :-
- Your Google ranking will be based on your Mobile site
- Your site must be responsive or Mobile optimized
- You cannot have pop ups blocking your content
- Your site has to load onto mobile devices very quickly.
- You have to get this done by Jan 2017 or Google will penalize you
The good news is that most web designers are aware of this (if yours isn't you need to sack them and get a proper one) and should have already made the necessary improvements to your site.
Check your website now with this google free to use tool, just enter your websites URL and Google will give you the good or bad news right away.
What to do If it's bad news?
Many bootstrappers and DIYers have not made the transition yet and some of those who need to are worried about having to redesign a whole new website just to please Google.
It's not as bad as it seems, for those who use WordPress (if you've been following our advice you will be) the good news is there are hundreds of free Google friendly responsive templates readily available.
All you have to do is go to your websites admin dashboard, select appearance, themes, get new then type in responsive in the search box and a few hundred will appear.
Install the ones you like and cycle through them by using the live preview button, this lets you view your website as it would appear using that template, but without publishing it.
It's not all plain sailing though as depending on how complex you've made your site some of those tweaks, widgets and sidebars you carefully crafted may not transfer well to the new theme, so you may have to spend a day or two making a few adjustments, but the main body of your website and all it's content will still be there.
To make it easier look for templates with the same characteristics (layout, number of menus etc...) as the one you currently use.
For the full Google guide on how to make your site mobile friendly go here, this guide if for all software web-build platforms not just WordPress.
If it seems all too much or if you are absolutely baffled by it all then contact us and we can arrange to set up a website that conforms to Googles Mobile First Indexing guidelines and keep it as close to your existing one as we can for you.
Our advice: -
- Ditch your non-responsive desktop website.
- Keep it as simple as possible, some web designers will advise you to use two websites, a desk top & mobile version. For 99.9% of websites this is completely unnecessary. Unless you are an information heavy site such as a university or research facility then your responsive site will be the only one you need for both mobile and desktop use.
- No small business needs the added time and expense of running two platforms, have one website and make it as simple to navigate and read as you can, your main aim is to get your visitor to use your 'call to action' and buy, subscribe, make an appointment or do whatever you need them to do to make your venture successful.
- While some may moan at Googles latest venture we see this as an opportunity. Google may just have done you a big favor by forcing you to revisit your website, cut out some of the unnecessary junk and concentrate on the core purpose of your website instead.
! Don't Panic !
If you haven't converted to a compatible mobile first indexing site yet Google will still index your desktop site, but as they will now rank mobile websites first, desktop only sites will obviously fall in the rankings.
In the meantime remember that a well crafted working desktop site is better than a shabby or broken mobile site, so take time and make sure your mobile site is ready and tested before you launch it.