Mobilegeddon Checklist for B2B Websites



On April 21st, Google recently updated their search algorithms to dramatically favor websites that Google views as being mobile-friendly or adhere to the principles of Responsive Web Design and penalize sites that do not follow Google’s mobile friendly guidelines.

The update will be the largest that Google has rolled out in years and will impact over 1 billion websites currently in existence. The widespread implication of the update has led many tech writers and digital consultants warn of a likely “Mobilegeddon” in which websites that are not mobile-friendly will get buried in the bottom of search results or left off altogether.

As users are conducting more and more searches on mobile devices, the move underscores the recent shift of smartphones being the primary computing devices for the majority of users. With Google being used by 89% of all smartphone users. 

According to a recent Forrester Research estimate, 38% of all enterprise web sites fail to meet Google’s Mobile-Friendly criteria and will see a dramatic decrease in organic search traffic over the next few months.

Below are four handy tips to make life easier on your marketing and web team:


1) See if your corporate website meets Google’s criteria of being “mobile-friendly” with this handy test below.
https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/mobile-friendly

If you’re website passes the test then you’re good to go.






2) Check your robots.txt file

For websites that are mobile-friendly but fail Google’s test, the most common reason is that robots.txt is blocking Googlebot from viewing page resources such as JavaScript, css, and image files that would allow Google to render what a mobile version of your website would look like. This is usually the case for websites developed using a CMS, using the disallow directive to prevent key administrative panels and site resources from being indexed by search engines.

A quick work around to this issue that would give Google access to those resources would be to insert the two lines of code below within your websites robot.txt.


User-agent: Googlebot
Allow: / 



3) If your website is in fact not mobile-friendly, below are some stop-gap measures to help tide you over until the next redesign.


Depending on how your existing website is built, this can be either be a quick minor fix or a substantial undertaking, in which case it might be time to consider a complete overhaul.


4) Approach your next website refresh with a “Mobile First” mentality.


When spearheading the next refresh of your corporate website, make sure the mobile-experience is considered first and foremost, with the desktop experience being an enhanced but secondary consideration for your brand. Ask your agency or developer about their approach to mobile first web design, and ask what they know about key concepts such as progressive enhancement, load optimization, and ask if the website would still function if JavaScript was disabled and if the website would still be understandable if the CSS was stripped out.

This might be going above and beyond what Google is asking for in terms of bare minimum compliance of being mobile-friendly but the cues are there, Google is making a definite commitment to encouraging mobile ease of use and accessibility of content across all device and browser types. Future updates will only reinforce this trend and it’s preferable to be ahead of the curve versus responding to panicked phone calls from your executive team.

Have additional questions about making your website mobile-friendly? Contact John Luu at (713) 523-5711 or jluu@axiom.us.com for more information.
 
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Additional reading:  

Wall Street Journal “Websites Prep for Google’s Mobilegeddon”
http://on.wsj.com/1GeHlVK

NPR “Google's New Search Algorithm Stokes Fears of Mobilegeddon”
http://n.pr/1FcnxDE

Mashable: “Google to websites: Be mobile-friendly or get buried in search”
http://mashable.com/2015/04/21/google-mobile-search-2/
 

USA Today: “Mobilegeddon could be bad news for 40% of top websites”
http://usat.ly/1ObIYKP

Fortune: “What Google’s Mobilegeddon is (and why you should care)”
http://fortune.com/2015/04/21/google-mobilegeddon/

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