Have You Received a Mobile Usability Warning from Google?
Earlier this year, Google began sending out mass notifications to webmasters with sites that aren’t mobile friendly. The subject of these messages is “fix mobile usability issues found on…” The message then goes on to explain that these sites have critical usability errors for mobile devices and they will be penalized if they are not fixed, causing issues with rankings. The notifications have been sent through Webmaster Tools and email.
This is the first time that Google has officially sent out mass notifications alerting webmasters of their lack of user friendliness, despite the many hints that have been made about the rewards of mobile friendliness. The difference here is that webmasters aren’t going to be reminded and given the benefit of the doubt for much longer. It’s going to be expected that they have websites and content that is optimized for mobile or it will hurt their rankings. Plain and simple.
New Mobile Ranking Algorithm on the Way?
Many speculate that a new mobile ranking algorithm is underway. There’s fact to back this up since Google did say that they were experimenting with an algorithm of this nature back in November. They have also launched several new tools to help webmasters determine the mobile friendliness of their sites such as the mobile friendly testing tool, mobile usability reports and mobile-friendly labels. Still, Google keeps us waiting in anticipation as no formal confirmation has been made.
What this Means for Webmasters
So what does this mean for you? If you received a mass notification, you have a lot of work to do. The notification was only sent to those that have usability errors on 100% of their pages. The message provides information on how to make your site mobile friendly, such as by reading the easy steps provided on the WordPress or Joomla sites. You may also read about building mobile friendly websites on Google.
If you didn’t receive a notification, don’t get too comfortable. If it’s true that a mobile ranking algorithm will be taking effect, you want optimized web pages that rank well. Work with your developer to choose either a dedicated mobile site or a responsive design. You can also create a task-specific mobile app or spring for the hybrid option, which includes both a mobile app and mobile-friendly website. You can read more about your options in this post from Forbes.
If there’s one thing you should NOT do, it’s delay. You want your website to be ready to go for whatever algorithm comes next. Contact WSI Net Advantage at 510-687-9737 to get your site mobile friendly.