Many people today are using their phones and other mobile devices to view websites.
It’s a sign of the times.
Google wants to provide the best information that it can to internet searchers and one way that it intends to keep doing that is to make sure that sites that have mobile themes and mobile friendly rendering will rise to the top of the search rankings.
Older famous algorithm updates were given colorful names like Panda, Penguin, and Hummingbird.
Hot on the tail of the news that Google is investigating whether to update their Google search algorithm to not rely so heavily on backlinks for search rankings, we have this development.
Google is going to be updating the Google search algorithm yet again to include this feature, and it looks like the drop date for this update is April 21, 2015.
What does that mean for site owners?
Well, if your site doesn’t pass Google’s mobile friendly test, you’ll be hit, and probably hard.
It’s an opportunity for webmasters who are up on things to make sure they’re compliant and to beat out competitors who are either too busy, lazy, or clueless to ensure that their sites are mobile friendly.
Here’s the announcement from Google’s own Webmaster Central Blog:
“Starting April 21, we will be expanding our use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal. 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.”
How Panicked Webmasters Can Check if Their Site is Mobile Friendly
One way is to check how your site shows up in the SERPs. Google is starting to tag sites as mobile friendly in the actual search results.
This is how it’s likely to show up, but beware that not all search results are up to date with this new tagging yet.
Another way to ensure that you site is okay, or to find out that it isn’t so that you can fix or update it, is to run your URL through the Google Mobile Friendly Test.
The test will let you know the good and the bad news, with suggestions on how you can pass the test if you need to make adjustments.
There’s Only One Choice – Upgrade Your Site
The good news for those relying on WordPress blogs is that you can usually fix this by making sure that your WordPress installation is up to date, and if that doesn’t fix things, that the theme you’re using is complaint. Many times blog owners find a theme that they like and stay static with it, usually due to CSS customizations that they don’t want to redo in the newer version.
Well, if that’s the case, it’s time to just suck it up and upgrade. There was never a better reason since Google holds the cards and controls the traffic, and without traffic, your site dies.