Mobilegeddon, April 21st and You

I remember 1999. Do you? That was largely one of the biggest shams in history. I was a support tech for a Point of Sale product and software company back then. We had such a huge service team, people who would spend hours and hours updating servers so that they wouldn’t spontaneously die due to the Y2k “bug.” The bug that came from using two digit, not four digit years. Sometimes it’s funny to go back and read stories from before Y2k and why everyone should be worried.

Nothing fell out of the sky, not all servers got patched but a whole lot of folks paid a whole lot of money for something that truly wasn’t a huge deal, if anything the millennia bug caused a nuisance and minor headaches. No airplanes fell from the sky and my hair did not fall out, in fact, it only grew more lush!

Modern times, people, we don’t have Y2k, but our favorite hoop-holders over at Google have given us something to gossip about. Certainly, they given me something to write about today.

Google has been saying that speed and great content should be focal points in any online marketing strategy. Rather simply, stop playing games and make sure your site loads quickly and has relevant content. Easy, right? Now you have another thing to worry about: Making your website mobile friendly. Google has been slowly inching this way, toward enforcing a true mobile friendly experience for a while now. Some time back, they announced minor changes that would help folks identify sites that provided a mobile friendly experience.
That’s all well and good, and certainly that announcement was the writing on the wall and the web has just been waiting for “the other shoe to drop.” Well, we now know that, that other shoe “drops” on April 21st, 2015. That’s when “shit gets real,” if you will.

What does it all mean?

Well, for starters mobile-friendly sites will get preference in search results over their non-mobile friendly counter-parts. How much? Unsure. You may have received a notice from Google to make your sites mobile friendly as well. Ew. For now, though, this change affects mobile devices, rather phones. Tablets are left out of the equation for now, but I’d expect that will change, too…

Personally, I think it’s worth it to go and make your site mobile friendly. I think the best approach and one Google recommends, is that you have a responsive website. One that responds and lays-out differently based on the screen of the device viewing it. There are a couple of options. One option being that you could create a mobile-only website, but there’s a lot of reasons doing so is a bad idea. Creating a mobile-only site will increase maintenance and support costs because there are now TWO sites to maintain and you’re splitting “rankings” for similar content but on two sites. That’s just making things hard on yourself.

How can you make your website mobile friendly? Well, you could hire us to do it for you. Duh! But, I would, first, recommend just reading up to see what the Google Overlords have to say about this. Check this article out. If you have a static (read: Non-Content Management System), then it’s going to take manual effort to make the necessary changes. It’s not too hard, if you know what you’re doing. If you don’t know what you’re doing, you’d do well to hire a professional. However, if you run a CMS like WordPress, Drupal or similar, do read the article I previously linked to.

April 21st is coming to eat your non-mobile site’s lunch. Don’t get left behind! Start making your changes now!

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