How to Survive the Mobile-geddon on April 21st

Mobile Development Web Design

In less than a month’s time a new revolution will be upon us, but it won’t involve guns and zombies, but rather it will be a digital revolution. Recently, Google has been leading efforts on how to make the internet as user friendly as possible especially for mobile users. Digital marketers know that majority of today’s users spend more time on their mobile phones over their laptops or desktops, and that is why mobile optimization is highly important. With that, Google will be releasing a mobile-friendly algorithm by April 21st to drastically change the play of digital marketing, especially since the move will affect websites that are not mobile friendly. That is why many see it as a mobile-geddon.

One of the main features of this mobile revolution is that it will give better raking for mobile-friendly websites in mobile search results. But what about those non-mobile friendly sites? Google will be penalizing those websites who are not mobile-friendly where their sites will be demoted in search engine ranking. Therefore, if you want your website to rank better you might want to optimize your website to be mobile friendly. Take note that this will only be applicable to mobile use and will not be carried over to desktop or laptop computers.

However, before you start worrying about your site being not mobile-friendly, Google adds that this move will focus on a page by page basis meaning each page of your websites will be judged individually. Therefore, if half of your website is not mobile friendly the system will not completely judge it as non-mobile friendly. It is not only websites that will be ranked this way. Even Android apps will be indexed, however this will not be the same for apps coming from iTunes.

How to Survive the Mobile-geddon

In preparation for the change, Google also provided a few suggestions and tips on how to properly prepare for this new digital revolution.

One of these is to allow Googlebot to access your site’s data, especially on blocked JavaScripts, CSS scripts and/or image files. If your websites cannot allow Google to see this, it may affect your website ranking and be deemed as “suboptimal”. One can fix this by using the Fetch as Google feature in the site maker’s Webmaster Tools. This allows the programmer to see if Googlebot can view and analyze the content and enables them to fix the issues.

Another thing that webmasters and digital marketers should look out and fix are the unplayable content found on your websites. Often this is consisted of media like videos and sound clips that are not playable on mobile. Often times media that makes use of Flash have this problem, so one of the most practical ways of fixing this is to switch into friendlier players.

A big thing digital marketers should resolve on their websites are faulty redirects. This often occurs when a website has several mobile URLs to begin with and it is old news as Google has been trying to address this issue since last year summer. The best way to fix this problem is to provide the appropriate URL for the mobile websites and avoid redirecting to other ages. Another option is to make use of a smartphone/mobile responsive design type of website.

In relation to that, digital marketers should also resolve any website that ends up not loading in the mobile scope. This is called mobile 404 and often occurs to websites that are not mobile optimized and can only be accessed through the desktop. The best way to fix this problem is to redirect the link to a mobile-ready page instead of dishing out a 404 error page or you may also make use of a responsive design to go around this problem.

This can be associated with another mobile optimization problem: slow mobile pages. This is often the frustration a visitor can face and often leads them to look for another website to visit especially if they are accessing it through their mobile phone. Thus Google stresses that websites should be mobile-friendly. One way to know if your page is loading fast is to utilize Google PageSpeed Insights as it will provide information on what should be fixed.

Another thing one should look out for is the app download interstitial. This is highly irritating for several users because it does not allow them to look into the mobile website as they are often interrupted by pop ups that prompt them to download the site’s app. As much as promoting your mobile app is a good thing, Google sees it as a problem because it can lead to indexing issues and can disrupt the user experience while visiting the site. Most of the time this results in users being blocked from viewing the pages they want to see. The best way to resolve this is to provide a download banner on top of the page either as an image banner or an HTML banner.

Finally, digital marketers should also look out for irrelevant cross-links on their websites. This happens when users access the desktop optimized websites instead of the mobile version. It could also happen the other way around as well. This can be remedied by checking of the links redirect to the correct page.

things people hate about your website

Florence Valderrama

Written by Florence Valderrama

Florence is the content and social media specialist at DecoGraphic. Drop her a line if you have any interesting topics that you would like to learn more about!


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