When a group of four men known as ‘The Associates’ or ‘The Big Four’ took over the construction of the Central Pacific Railroad from its planner Theodore Judah, they set out to various towns on the East Coast of America. They soon realized that most of these hamlets lacked basic amenities and they chalked up a list of minimum requirements for a town to make the cut as a railway stopover. The message was simple “Shape up or get out”- if you didn’t clean up your act, the railroad wouldn’t pass through your town. You would miss the boat, you would lose business and be airbrushed into irrelevance. The Associates went on to be the masterminds behind the first massive scam backed by unregulated crony capitalism, but that’s an entirely different story. Well, this might serve as a rather extreme historical context but it’s rather fascinating that history is about to repeat itself in a way. How? Well, come April 21st Google changes its algorithm, and this will revolutionize the mobile ranking system.

To be fair, everyone has been warned, the shift towards mobile has been a fated one. Right now, 60% of searches on Google are done over mobile. It’s only natural that the balance tips in favour of mobile friendly sites, isn’t it? Obviously, Google wants to ensure the best user experience. But what does one do? How I protect my business?!Well, it’s rather simple. If you already run a mobile friendly site, there’s nothing to worry about. Keep calm and wait for the inevitable. But if you don’t, here are some steps to ensure that you’re insured when the rooster crows on the 21st. of April.

Your search ranking won’t change much, but you will be significantly upped by sites that are mobile-friendly. That’s the name of the game for the new algorithm rollout April 21st onwards, so roll up those sleeves and get to work!

 

  • Make sure the mobile version of your site is active and functional. Responsive designs are the most popular, but you can also have a separate hosted mobile version of your site. Google doesn’t have a preference, as long as mobile users’ experience isn’t interrupted.
  • Yes SEO is and always be a big deal, good content will get you up there on the searches. But from this year, Google is also adding ‘Mobile Friendly websites” as a key element in their algorithm. So make sure you have a mobile responsive website, it will count, big time!
  • Ensure Google’s mobile bots can crawl your site. If Google can’t see it, it may as well not even be there.
  • Check each individual page of your site on a mobile device to ensure navigability. Just because your home page is mobile friendly doesn’t mean the rest of your site is.
  • Unplayable content on your site? Many times, mobiles won’t play because companies use licensed media outlets like Flash.That’s going to count against you, so get mobile friendly applications to play your video content.
  • Correct short circuiting cross links: make sure each cross link actually upload to the correct site
  • Slow mobile page loading: you can check you upload speed on google PageSpeed insights.
  • There you have it, rather simple isn’t it? I’ll see you on the 21st of April, in the new world…..unless you’ve missed the boat, lost your business and found yourself airbrushed into irrelevance.