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Google’s “Mobile-Friendly” Update – What Does It Mean To Your Association?

Yesterday, April 21, 2015, Google went live with the search algorithm that will boost the rankings of mobile-friendly pages. Let’s take a look at what this means to your Association:

When was this first announced?
Google released that they are experimenting with a new mobile friendly ranking algorithm in December 2014 and announced it officially in February 2015.

What is this algorithmic update and whom will it impact?
This update will only impact mobile searches and will give a ranking boost to mobile-friendly pages in Google’s mobile search results only.  While search results on tablets and desktops are not affected by this change, as more and more people are starting to use Mobile devices for browsing the web, this could have a big impact on your associations web presence.

How do I know if my association’s site is mobile friendly?
Use the mobile friendly testing tool to see if your site passes the test. The only way to know if your site is already indexed as mobile friendly is to see if your site has the mobile friendly label in the mobile search results.

I made my site mobile friendly today, how long will it take Google to pick up on those changes?
The algorithm is real time and runs to index your site on a page by page basis. Google will automatically pick-up and re-index your site, but it can take up yo 72-hours to display your web pages as mobile friendly in the search results. You can also expedite the process by using Fetch as Google with Submit to Index.

I just re-designed and launched my association’s website. Am I set?
Better to be safe than sorry. Use the mobile friendly testing tool to make sure you are good to go. I personally love the newly designed website for the American Association of Justice. The design is clean, modern, and the content is well laid out. However, a quick test of https://www.justice.org/ using the tool gave back the following results.

Screen Shot 2015-04-22 at 10.02.29 AM

 

While the Justice.org site fails the Google Mobile Friendly Test. The fixes are very easy to do. They basically need to:

  • Remove the pop-up from the homepage (or just remove it for mobile devices). Given its size, users may not be able to close it on a small mobile screen
  • Add CSS padding to the Menu links on the site. Since the links appear very close to one another on a small mobile screen, this could lead to unintentional clicks on the wrong link.

On a side note, we were happy to note that our sites meet the Mobile-friendly requirements!

image1

 

For more FAQs on this topic, visit http://searchengineland.com/tomorrow-is-mobilegeddon-are-you-ready-for-the-google-mobile-friendly-update-219291 and http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com/2015/04/faqs-april-21st-mobile-friendly.html.

 

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Gayathri Kher

Gayathri Kher

Gayathri is co-founder and President of fusionSpan, a technology consulting firm focused on serving the comprehensive needs of small staff Non-Profit associations. She has extensive experience in evaluating current IT infrastructure for small-staff associations and assisting them in implementing solutions that are scalable based on future needs. Prior to co-founding fusionSpan, Gayathri headed up the Information Technology department at the National Genealogical Society and also worked at the Association of American Geographers.

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