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)
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:
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 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!