Your website has until April 21st to pass this test

By John R. Aberle | Internet Marketing

Apr 12

Sally and her husband owned a small, professional service business. She recently learned that her website has until April 21st to pass this test or risk losing their website’s search ranking. This applies to you too, not just to Sally. If you fail this test, you may lose your website’s search ranking.

Screen capture of Google Mobile-Friendly Test results on AberleEnterprises.com, a WordPress site before activating WPtouch plugin

Sally handles the back office work, such as the accounting, phones and shipping and receiving. Additionally, she runs the company’s marketing efforts, which includes their company website, their Internet marketing and social media. Thanks to having found an Internet marketing mentor she trusts, Sally’s skills at managing her website and developing an online following for their business have been improving over the past year and a half.

But Sally just heard on a mentoring call about the massive changes that Google will implement on April 21st to their search engine algorithm. All of her efforts to improve their company’s showing in the search engine rankings might evaporate if she doesn’t ensure that her website is “mobile-friendly.”

Screen capture of Google Mobile-Friendly Test results on AberleEnterprises.com, a WordPress site after activating WPtouch plugin

Screen capture of Google Mobile-Friendly Test results on AberleEnterprises.com, a WordPress site after activating WPtouch plugin

On the Google Webmaster Central Blog, on February 26th, they posted this notice:

When it comes to search on mobile devices, users should get the most relevant and timely results, no matter if the information lives on mobile-friendly web pages or apps. As more people use mobile devices to access the internet, our algorithms have to adapt to these usage patterns. In the past, we’ve made updates to ensure a site is configured properly and viewable on modern devices. We’ve made it easier for users to find mobile-friendly web pages and we’ve introduced App Indexing to surface useful content from apps. Today, we’re announcing two important changes to help users discover more mobile-friendly content:

1. More mobile-friendly websites in search results

Starting April 21, we will be expanding our use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal. This change will affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide and will have a significant impact in our search results. Consequently, users will find it easier to get relevant, high quality search results that are optimized for their devices.

You can find the rest of the article and more information on the role of mobile apps at Webmaster Central Blog’s February 26, 2015 article, “Finding more mobile-friendly search results.”

One of her mentors recommended Neil Patel as an Internet marketing expert. Sally decided to read Patel’s comments on this too for further insight.

According to Google Webmaster Central, Google will be rolling out the most significant mobile algorithm change to date:

Starting April 21, we will be expanding our use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal.

In just a few short days, you’re going to witness a huge algo (algorithm) upset. In fact, a Googler noted that this change will have more of an impact than Penguin or Panda.

What is a mobile-friendly site? Thankfully, it’s pretty easy to find out. Just run your website through Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test page.

This excerpt came from Neil Patel’s “Everything You Need To Know About Google’s New Stance On Mobile,” posted April 3, 2015 on Search Engine Land’s site.

 

Screen capture of Google Mobile-Friendly Test results on eBookPurchases-com, a WordPress site before switching to WordPress theme Twenty Fifteen

Screen capture of Google Mobile-Friendly Test results on eBookPurchases-com, a WordPress site before switching to WordPress theme Twenty Fifteen

While the ideal would be to make sure that your website is “mobile responsive,” which means that the images resize automatically for different size screens and the menu bar disappears on mobile screens switching to a drop down option, Sally found some quick fixes recommended by a member of the mentoring group. Fortunately, her site is a WordPress blog so it makes the changes vastly easier than having to reprogram the site.

Options to Get Your WordPress Website to Pass the Google Mobile-Friendly Test

  1. For WordPress blogs, you can install and activate the WPtouch plugin – this will ensure your site passes as being “mobile friendly.” (Three sites that failed the test before installing WPtouch plugin, passed after they activated this plugin.)
  2. You could also select a “mobile responsive” theme
    1. At least one reviewer indicate that the WordPress Twenty Fifteen free theme is responsive (and it passed one of my sites on the Google Mobile-Friendly Test) so free themes are available.
    2. There are also a multitude of excellent paid themes available that will give you even more functionality and ensure that you are truly responsive.

 

Screen capture of Google Mobile-Friendly Test results on eBookPurchases-com, a WordPress site after switching to WordPress theme Twenty Fifteen

Screen capture of Google Mobile-Friendly Test results on eBookPurchases-com, a WordPress site after switching to WordPress theme Twenty Fifteen

The key is to first ensure that your website passes the Google Mobile-Friendly Test so that your site remains indexed. As Google keeps refining the new mobile friendly algorithm that releases on April 21st, you may find that being truly “responsive,” not just “friendly,” becomes more critical. So don’t stop with just passing this test.

If your business is like that of some of Sally’s friends who are in retail or restaurants, you would do well to follow up on getting a mobile responsive app because Google is starting to index them now too. The first article above covered that point in the section not quoted here.

Go to the Google Mobile-Friendly Test and test your Website’s URL to see if you pass the test. If you do, you can stop there. If you don’t, then on your WordPress blog, do a backup before doing anything else. Then install and activate WPtouch (under Plugins on your Dashboard, add new and search for it there). Run the test again to be sure you pass. You may want to then upgrade your website to a mobile responsive theme.

Building your profits through strong relationships,

John

John R. Aberle, Scriberle, Aberle Enterprises

P.S. Be sure to run the Google Mobile-Friendly Test now to be sure that your website passes. That way you have time to act before April 21st so as to stay indexed in Google search engine rankings. If you need help getting your site to pass, contact me at HelpCustomersBuy at Gmail dot com.

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About the Author

I have a strong love for small businesses, especially brick and mortar companies. After an 18-year career in sales and marketing, I started my own service company, which I grew in both sales and profits for the first five years. In my sixth year, the bottom dropped out of the printer market such that it made more sense to sell my assets and return to Southern California. There I went to work for an international small business consulting company. I spent over three years on the road with them helping small businesses to become more profitable and better managed. I then started my own company specializing in sales and marketing consulting, coaching and training. My emphasis is on heart-centered, relationship selling that empowers prospects to make their own choices.