Your Site Better Swing Both Ways

Is your mobile site ready for Google’s algorithm change?

Google's new algorithm

by whitney grimes

While some people are queuing the lyrics, “It’s the end of the world as we know it,” it doesn’t need to be this dramatic – we promise.

Google is expected to roll out a change in their algorithm next week and players in the online spectrum are scrambling to ensure that this doesn’t affect them. This isn’t an episode of Dooms Day Preppers, but if it were, your essentials to your survival are listed below.

Checklist essentials to surviving yet another ‘Goomsday’ (Google+Doomsday) –

  • Mobile Friendly Site
  • CSS & JS files in order to hand over to Google – not literally but let’s be honest, when your boss shows up at your office door, you want to have that report ready for him to scan through
  • Breakup letter composed to that small unwarranted text on your site as well as those oh so outdated flash videos

Now that you know the ‘essentials’, let’s review; because this is a blog dedicated to the changes in Google and mobile, it is safe to assume that your site indeed needs to be mobile friendly. What does this mean? It means you’re elevating the possibility of hyper extending your pointer finger and thumb by zooming in on certain parts of your website on a mobile device just to see it.

“But my site shows up on my mobile device – it’s just a smaller version!”

Just as you wouldn’t show up half naked to work, you’re not going to show up on Google. We’re talking, your site being completely responsive (responding to the size of a screen based on content, images, etc.) to ensure that your end user is seeing your site the simplest way possible – a miniaturized version if you will, with better placement of action items, text, and the loot.

Through CSS and JS (these are the ‘geek codes’ on the backend of your website), your site needs to serve dynamically to the end user, meaning that the device you’re looking at it on, again, recognizes each page. If you’re viewing it on a tablet the view will be different from your desktop (I know, what’s that anymore – right? Someone might as well have said VHS player). If you’re viewing it on a mobile device then it’s most definitely going to look different than both versions of your desktop and tablet. Responsive is like Alison’s first moments in Wonderland – the smaller she got the larger everything else got; the smaller your device – the larger the real estate for your content on such device.

In the end there’s still no need to panic. If you do everything last minute you can still pull this one off – you my reader, are going to survive – and so is your site. Just keep in mind that the whole idea behind Google’s move is to put, ‘Mobile First’; a mantra sweeping the design community and closet nerds like myself. With a growing share of web traffic being executed on mobile devices, designers are now finding

it easier to live, breathe and fulfill this, ‘Mobile First’ need on an increasingly tiny space in an increasingly tech heavy world.

If you’re still nervous for the ‘all ominous Goomsday’ that is the fourth coming of Google’s algorithm change – take Google’s mobile friendly test and put your mind at ease – google.com/webmaster/tools/mobile-friendly/

If you’re still a little uneasy, or maybe unsure of your next steps, we know a muse who can help.

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