In case you missed it, on April 21st Google changed how they rank web site searches. If a site is not “mobile-friendly” it will no longer be ranked higher than one that is “mobile-friendly.” Some were calling this “mobilegeddon” because of the impact it would have.
What Does Mobile-Friendly Mean?
This refers to whether or not your site is optimized for a smart-phone screen. Sites that have what is called “responsive design” will recognize what type of device is looking at the information and change the image that is sent to that device.
This usually means that the menu changes from a bar across the top or side into a button near the top of the page that can be touched with a finger and the menu drops down. Also the page itself reformats itself to fit the screen. (Use your smartphone and type in www.enclavepublishing.com and see what it looks like versus what it looks like on a regular screen.)
To those of us who remember the early days of the Internet and HTML code it seems a bit like magic!
By the way, “mobile-friendly” does not include tablets, laptops, or desktops because those devices have large enough screens that the special responsive design is not needed.
Is Your Site Mobile-Friendly?
It is very easy to check and see if your site is compliant.
Go to the following Google site (https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/mobile-friendly/) and type in the web site you want to check. The page will show you what yours looks like on a smart phone screen, if you didn’t already know.
Out of curiosity I tested about thirty author web sites to see what happened. Over half of them were not mobile-friendly. This means that the Google algorithm will move those unfriendly sites down the page. The sites that are friendly will be given priority.
This may not affect you at all because your topic is unique or your name is unusual enough that there is no danger of another site gaining ascendency.
Mine Is NOT “Friendly” what do I do?
For some authors their web site was designed and put up a long time ago. And it works, so why mess with it? It may be time to invest in a new design.
If you have a web master, talk to them about the cost of converting to a responsive design.
If you already use WordPress, but it uses a non-friendly “Theme” you might be able to convert the content of your site to another one without as much trouble.
Avoid the “I’ll Do it Someday” Syndrome
If you are one of those affected, I’m sorry. But try not to procrastinate. The power of the Internet is critical to you and your work being found. We cannot ignore the fact that Apple sold 74.83 million iPhones…last quarter (in three months). And Samsung sold 73.03 million phones …last quarter. That is equal to 10 phones PER PERSON for everyone living in Los Angeles, Chicago, and New York City combined.
Investing in your web site is sort of like a retail store investing in a good cash register. It is possible to do business out of shoe box, but it probably isn’t a good idea.
Plus you want to make your site inviting and engaging with everyone who comes to visit. Make each screen feel welcome.
Do you have a web master you would like to recommend?
Is your site mobile-friendly? If so, how hard was it to make yours “responsive”?