Does Your Site Pass Google’s New Mobile Penalty?

May 26th 2015

What steps you need to take to avoid Google’s new mobile penalty

In 2014, it was reported that more online users use mobile devices to access the internet than PCs. In response, Google publicized this year that it would begin to punish web pages in search rankings if they did not meet their mobile-­friendly criteria by April 21st of 2015. Commonly referred to as M​obilegedden, ​many web companies scrambled t​o make sure that their website had the responsiveness required​ to stay at the top of mobile search results. This update speaks to Google’s new push for a user­ friendly experience using their search engine. Rankings now take into consideration not only mobile­responsiveness, but also page load time and being included in localized search results. This update only affects mobile search results not including local search. Desktop rankings will remain the same. It also only applies to individual pages and not entire websites.

Mobilegedden came and went and while some sites were reduced in rankings, it is easy to bounce back because Google is quickly picking up newly mobile-­optimized sites following the update. Here are four tips to keep in mind when optimizing your website to be labeled mobile friendly.

Make sure your menu is responsive

Having either an alternative menu for small screen sizes or a menu that functions correctly on mobile devices is extremely important for the user experience on a mobile site.

Use text that is at least 14px in size

​Mobile phones have smaller screens than desktop computers, so making sure your text is readable without zoom makes for a more pleasant mobile browsing experience.

Take out any Flash animation on your site

W​hile Flash player looks cool on desktop websites, it tends to not work or display correctly on mobile browsers. Try to avoid using a large amount of animations on your mobile site.

Make sure your images have a relative width and can scale with the viewport

T​his will make all of your images automatically resize to be the max width of the screen, so that they aren’t too large to be viewed easily on a mobile device.

Even though some websites may not be mobile-friendly, many fortune 500 websites did not take too much of a penalty because of their brand­ awareness and massive amount of external backlinks. All and all this update will improve the mobile internet. Pushing companies to make mobile experience more of a priority will only improve the mobile websphere as a whole.