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Is Your Website Ready for Google’s 2020 Mobile-Friendly Change?

Mike Watson – Brantford, ON

5th March 2020

If your website is not mobile-friendly, Google has officially put you on notice. In September 2020, their search ranking system will be based accessing the mobile version of your site.

So what does this mean for your website?

mobile-friendly website graphic

A Mobile-Friendly website displays beautifully on devices of various sizes.

With mobile internet use now in the majority, it’s important to be looking great on a mobile device!

If your website is already mobile-friendly, not much changes.

It’s likely that if your website is already optimized for mobile devices, Google has already been analysing and ranking your website on the mobile version of your site. Since 2016, Google began it’s ‘mobile-first’ indexing crawler that essentially made decisions on how to rank your website based on it’s mobile display.

The majority of web traffic is now accessed on a mobile device, and so Google was keen to ensure that it promoted and supported websites that made mobile internet use a positive experience.

But what if your website does not display nicely on a mobile device?

Google has put you on official notice! According to this blog post from Google, all websites regardless of readiness will be assessed by their mobile crawler.

Your website may still be performing relatively well in keyword searches depending on a variety of factors, even if it does not display nicely on mobile devices. But with mobile internet use becoming the most popular way to use the internet, Google is looking to ensure every result it serves up to users in the top spots is going to be a great experience for those looking on smaller screens.

With the change to 100% mobile-first indexing confirmed for September 2020, if your website is not mobile responsive and optimized, Google will record a large number of errors in it’s usability.

Display errors, such as “text too small/close together to be readable” and other user-experience considerations, can make Google reluctant to show your site for a search query. This announcement confirms that time is running out for websites that are not yet accomodating for mobile screen sizes.

 

How can I know if my website is mobile-friendly?

If your website displays clearly on a tablet and phone, without pinching or zooming the screen, then it is likely your website is what is known as “responsive”, and therefore may already be evaluated by Google as the mobile version.

Responsive does not necessarily mean that your site is truly mobile-friendly. There may be specific pages or sections that do not display clearly to users, and those errors will still be picked up by the mobile-first index crawler. These errors can negatively impact your search rank, and so ensuring they are addressed should be a primary concern.

Google Search Console can be your best friend in determining any potentially rank-hurting errors on your site. Not only is it a great tool for determining where which search terms are working well for your site, but it also delivers reports on any error it’s mobile-first index crawler finds when reading your website.

You or your web professional can then address each error in turn to ensure that the upcoming change in policy does not result in a nose-dive in those all important search rankings.

It may be that you have a site that just needs some help to be fully mobile-friendly, or that you need a complete rebuild in order to maintain and improve your position. Either way, every business no matter the scale should be ready for what is sure to be a fairly major change in the status quo in the world of search.

If you have questions about the readiness of your website, I would love to hear from you! Get in touch using the contact form below for a free evaluation. I look forward to helping turn this challenge into an opportunity!

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Mike Watson ~ Web Design & SEO

I specialize in building Custom Wordpress Websites that support and drive growth for your business or non-profit.

Based in beautiful Brantford, Ontario and serving clients in Paris, St. George, Woodstock, Simcoe & Cambridge.

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