Google Mobile Update - Is your website mobile friendly?

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Okay, our last post was a bit of a joke, but Google does actually have a huge new update coming that will make a difference to your website’s ranking. And I promise this time all the facts are true.

The mobile update, coming on April 21st, will impact websites that are not mobile friendly. Google analyst Zineb Ait Bahajji claims it will be more significant than any of the Penguin or Panda updates that have come before, and, as a result, marketers are rightly feeling pretty anxious about its release.

Our Chief Technology Officer Janaka Abeywardhana, says of the update:

"Although some see Google as the bully having too much influence over the web I think this is good move. It's the reality check and motivation required to move the web at large to the modern mobile device centric era." - Janaka Abeywardhana, CTO, @janaka_a

It is unclear yet if it will be a boost for mobile friendly sites or a demotion for those that are not, but Google has been clear that there are no “degrees” of mobile friendliness - it's a clear yes or no. What we do know is that the update will operate on a page-by-page basis and will take a few weeks to roll out fully.

This is how you can check now if your site is going to have problems.

  • Grab a smartphone and search on Google for the site you want to test

  • Next to your site’s description in Google, look for the grey “mobile friendly” tag:

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  • If you see this tag, great! Your site is deemed mobile-friendly by Google. No tag? You have problems coming up.

  • Not got a smartphone handy? Use Google's Mobile-Friendly test tool

While this update has been described by Google as “significant”, it will of course not be the only ranking factor. The algorithm still uses over 200 factors to determine ranking and will still prioritise relevance and authority.

What does the new Google update mean for marketers?