Google Mandates Mobile-Friendly Websites by April 21 #bloggingtips

Last Updated on: November 30th, 2016

Is_Your_Website_Mobile_Friendly

There are changes being made to Google Search that might affect your website if it is not mobile-friendly by April 21, 2015.

What are these changes? And Why should you care?

The Changes Google is Making

Recently announced on TheSEMPost, according to Google’s Gary Illyes, “Google is working on a mobile only version of the search index, which would see desktop and mobile have completely separate search indexes.”

Why You Should Care

You should care for several reasons!

1. It’s a good idea to stay current.

2. It’s a good idea to stay on Google’s good side.

3. You don’t want your high rankings to change.

A dozen questions and answers are provided in this post that pertain to the impending changes, which will be implemented on April 21, 2015.

Changing to a Mobile-Friendly Theme

If your site is already mobile-friendly, you have nothing to worry about.

However, if it’s not, you should consider changing your theme to a responsive one.

A responsive theme is a theme that can be viewed on any device — whether desktop computer, tablet, iPad, or a smartphone.

There are a few different ways that you can check to see if your current site is mobile-friendly.

You can use:

  • Google’s own mobile-friendly tester
  • Matt Kersley’s Tool
  • Responsive Test
  • The Responsinator

Google’s Mobile-Friendly Tester

Google’s mobile-friendly tester will analyze whatever URL you enter into it. The one thing you need to be aware of, however, is that it will not analyze each individual blog post. If your home page is a static page, only that page is analyzed. If your home page contains a list of your most recent blog posts, only that page is analyzed.

Matt Kersley’s Tool

If you opt to use Matt Kersley’s Tool, you can check the responsiveness of your URL using 5 different sizes:

  • 240 x 320 (small phone)
  • 320 x 480 (iPhone)
  • 480 x 640 (small tablet)
  • 768 x 1024 (iPad – Portrait)
  • 1024 x 768 (iPad – Landscape)

Responsive Test

The Responsive Test provides you with four different options to check the responsiveness of your website.

In the upper right-hand corner of that page, you will see these icons:

This image is a screenshot of the four icons available to check the responsiveness of a website.

 

If you click on the first icon, the PHONE icon, you will have a variety of choices to view: Apple, Blackberry, Samsung, HTC, and LG. Under each of these are even more options.

If you click on the second icon, the TABLET icon, your choices include: Apple, Amazon, Asus, Barnes & Noble, HP, Microsoft, Samsung and Sony.

If you click on the third icon, the LAPTOP icon, again you have many choices to choose from.

Same goes with the fourth icon, the COMPUTER icon.

Clearly, each icon will give you a variety of options to see how your website looks on each device that exists!

The Responsinator

The Responsinator will allow you to simply enter your site’s URL and then show you how will it look on a phone. Try it. It’s pretty neat. (And a hat-tip to Chris from WPBrain for sharing this link in the comments!)

Choosing a Free or a Paid Theme

Paid themes are not always all they are cracked up to be. Sometimes they don’t work like they are supposed to.

Sometimes free themes are a better option.

Since writing the above article for Dear Blogger, I have updated both of my sites. I paid for a theme for Wording Well, but I opted for a free, customizable theme for Laying It Out There.

I had actually purchased RadiantPro for my author site, but found out that the menu bar didn’t actually work on mobile phones. When I found out, I contacted CyberChimps for a refund. They would not give me back my hard-earned money, though, as it was past the 60-day grace period, despite their assurance that they’d “take care of me” if I was unhappy with their product.

[Hint: Do NOT buy anything from CyberChimp!]

Regarding the free themes I’m currently using? I’m happy with both. 🙂

What you decide to do is up to you. You can save money by going with a free theme, or you can go pro with a paid theme. As long as they work, and are responsive, who cares? 😉

Share this Information!

A hat-tip to Sherryl Perry from Keep Up with the Web for starting a discussion on LinkedIn on this topic. 🙂

(Yep, that’s how I found out about these changes!)

Because we live in a world where helping others is necessary, I’d appreciate it if you helped pass along this message to others.

Please do so by Tweeting, sharing on Facebook, sharing on Google+, sharing on LinkedIn, Pinning the images in this post to Pinterest, emailing your friends, and doing whatever you can to help all of your friends become aware of these changes.

If you think about, it’s sort of our duty to do so!

16 thoughts on “Google Mandates Mobile-Friendly Websites by April 21 #bloggingtips

  1. says

    Wow! I didn’t there’re lots of site to check if site is mobile-friendly and how responsive it is. Nice one. BTW, does it really matters to use a responsive template for blogger blog that has blogger default mobile activated but using third-party un-responsive template for web view? Wanna be sure if my blog will be safe. Thanks

  2. Chris says

    Great tip! As a developer I have got a bunch of work because of this update, people needing their themes to be made mobile responsive. With that said, I completely agree, you dont need to hire a developer, there are plenty of free mobile responsive themes that will do the trick.

    If you do go premium, check out studiopress, they are awesome. Amazing support!

    Ohh… and another tool, is responsinator: https://www.responsinator.com/

    Even with these tools, it is best to check on the mobile devices themselves if you get a chance, those devices have different browser and work a little differently, so if it works using one of those tools it doesnt always mean it actually works on a phone!

    Chris

  3. Hi Lorraine,

    Thanks for the shout-out. I agree with you that there are still a lot of bloggers who don’t know yet that mobile usability will be a Google ranking factor after April 21st. Google is sending out alerts to bloggers who use sing Google Webmaster Tools but let’s face it, not everyone uses that either.

    Thanks for the link to Matt Kersley’s Tool. I had completely forgotten about it. For some strange reason, it’s not working for my site though. I was able to check your site and several client sites but mine will not display. Weird! It doesn’t matter though. My site doesn’t pass Google’s test. Besides, my site is dated and I need to switch themes.

    I hope you’re having a great weekend!

    • says

      Sherryl, you’re welcome for the mention. I agree, not everyone uses (or looks at!) the Webmaster Tools.

      There are some great free themes out there. Are you opting for a free or paid one? Or do you know?

  4. Hi Lorraine,

    Informative post indeed 🙂

    Yes, I read this update when Ana Hoffman shared it on G+ a few days back and another blogger wrote a post about it. I guess all those who still haven’t for mobile friendly sites need to look into it now. I am glad I have a responsive theme, so good to go.

    Thanks for sharing this information with us. Have a nice weekend 🙂

    • says

      Harleena, I know this information has been trending on the web lately, but I also not everyone has heard about it, either. IMHO, it’s part of our jobs as bloggers to pass info like this onto others.

      I know you always stay on top of things at Aha!NOW and so I know you have nothing to worry about.

      Others might, however.

      Thanks for the visit and the share! 🙂

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