A couple months ago, Google started sending out notices from their webmaster tools service to website owners whose websites were not “mobile friendly.” In other words, if a website doesn’t display properly (or at least intelligibly) on mobile devices, viewers on affected devices would potentially have a less-than-desirable experience on that site from that device. It should really be termed “everything friendly,” since the net result is that Google is testing website functionality, page-by-page, to ensure that pages load well on all devices (desktop/laptop computers already being included in the benchmark).
What about the “or else!” clause? Well, the consequence of not addressing the mobile-friendliness of a page on your site is Google penalizing it in search ranks on mobile devices. “Penalized” as in offending pages will be banished so far down the search result list that they may as well not even exist.
Moblie-unfriendly “Red Flags”
These are a few red flags that will trigger Google’s all-powerful mobile wrath on your website:
- Text that is not legible on mobile devices without tapping or zooming;
- Sites with Flash animations (Flash and mobile have never been friends);
- Complicated buttons or navigation;
- Processes that can’t be completed by mobile devices, or which are cumbersome for them
Is my site “mobile friendly”?
Many older websites will not be “mobile friendly,” because they were designed before mobile devices became web-enabled, or before web-enabled mobile devices became so prevalent. To test your site, use Google’s mobile-friendly analyzer. I did. So, how did Aspen Digital do? Oh… I rocked it!:
If you discover that your site is suspect on Google’s mobile-friendly meter, I can help. There are several ways to approach fixing the problem. Some are quick-fixes—quick, but not guaranteed to work. Others are permanent (to the extent that “permanent” can reasonably apply to the web environment, anyway).