On April 21, Google is tweaking its search algorithm again—this time with huge consequences for sites that aren’t optimized for mobile devices. “This change will affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide and will have a significant impact in our search results,” Google says. Consumers will see more mobile-friendly sites on search engine results pages and users who are signed in on apps will see content from them in their SERPs, the search giant says. As a consequence, Pure Oxygen Labs placed a nuclear countdown clock on its April 1 post about the upcoming change, which is not an April Fools’ Day prank.
“Five Things You Can Do To Make Your Site Mobile-Friendly Before Google Changes the Rules on April 21st” includes a bonus tip.
Here’s what Google and the post suggest marketers do:
1. Audit Mobile Presences. “If you want to test a few pages, you can use the Mobile-Friendly Test,” Google says. “If you have a site, you can use your Webmaster Tools account to get a full list of mobile usability issues across your site using the Mobile Usability Report.” Pure Oxygen notes that while the Mobile-Friendly Test does what it says, “it doesn’t take in account Google’s own mobile SEO requirements for mdot, responsive or dynamic serving sites.” The company then suggests marketers use its tool, which requires their email addresses. [Note: Target Marketing tried Pure Oxygen’s free tool on Friday and it does provide a much more detailed report than Google’s tool.]
2. Follow Google’s Rules to Make Sites Mobile-Friendly. Google provides a guide. Pure Oxygen adds marketers need to ensure “users are directed to pages that don’t require pinching and zooming, horizontal scrolling, or incompatible software like Flash.”
3. ‘Optimize Key Mobile Signals,’ writes Pure Oxygen. “The No. 1-ranked mobile site gets three times the clicks, so protect your rankings by optimizing redirects, ‘rel’ alternate and canonical link tags, page weight and download speed.”