SPECIAL UPDATE ( 4/21 Google Mobile Update: What your Website Maintenance Team Needs to Know )

Weeks leading up to April 21, website maintenance teams across the globe are in a rush to prepare for the big Google Mobile Algorithm Update. Is your team ready for it, too? April 21, 2015, which has since been referred to as “MobileGeddon,” marks the day the world’s leading search engine updates its search results algorithm to take into account compatibility with mobile devices. Those websites whose content are not configured to show properly on mobile will be ranked poorly, or worse, be removed from the Google results altogether. The update will also cover app content, complementing Google’s App Indexing tool which seeks to draw useful content from apps. As the Google Web Master Central advisory indicates, “This change will affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide and will have a significant impact in our search results. Consequently, users will find it easier to get relevant, high quality search results that are optimized for their devices.” The Google Mobile Algorithm Update is the search engine’s timely response to the increasing share of internet access via mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets. Indeed, according to the Digital, Social and Mobile 2015 report published on We Are Social covering 240 countries, mobile is expected to “push internet penetration beyond 50% of the world’s population during mid to late 2016.” The same report attributes this pattern to the advent of more affordable devices and internet services around the world, as well as the rise in popularity of such mobile oriented services as WhatsApp, WeChat and Facebook Messenger. As Worldometers revealed, there are now 7.324 billion active mobile connections, exceeding the world’s population. To determine your company’s readiness for the 4/21 Google Mobile Algorithm Update, Google Webmaster suggests taking the Mobile Friendly Test. After analysing your website content and design, you will receive comments about the readability of text, the activation of mobile viewport, or the distance between your clickable links, among other factors. Google lists several steps you can take: from customizing your website software, to working with developers, to implementing mobile SEO best practices. A guide for software customization to fit Google’s mobile compatibility requirements is also made available for users of various platforms like WordPress, Joomla!, Drupal, Blogger, Tumblr, and Google Sites. You may also check out the article detailing the principles of website design, which is based on a study conducted by Google and AnswerLab. Among the recommendations for website mobile-friendliness are keeping as few menu options as possible, facilitating ease to go back to the homepage, making the site search function visible (preferably at the top of the page), and creating a layout that is responsive to different screen sizes. However, it will be best to seek expert advice in upgrading your website in anticipation of the Google Mobile Algorithm update. Get in touch with us here at GreyBox Creative. Our web development group will be glad to configure your pages and applications to become more compatible with devices, enabling your company to adapt to a world that is increasingly becoming more mobile.

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