Are You Ready for #Mobilegeddon?

"Smartphone - Lovebot Toronto," © 2013 Joseph Morris, used under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives license.

“Smartphone – Lovebot Toronto,” © 2013 Joseph Morris, used under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives license.

Have you heard? On April 21, Google’s making changes to its mobile search algorithm to favor sites that are mobile friendly.

“Mobile friendly sites render different layouts depending on the size of the browser screen,” explains Tech Crunch, which also lays out a few to-dos to get ready for #Mobilegeddon.

Choose responsive design. Responsive design dynamically adapts your content depending on the size of the browser window. As the size of the screen changes, the number of columns displayed, the menu layout, pictures and other elements scale to the optimal size. Compared to a separate mobile site Responsive Design is considered to be more extensible to new devices, easier to maintain, and more effective from an SEO perspective.

Test your site. Google provides a Mobile Friendly Test to determine if they view your site as mobile friendly. Another back of the envelope method is to shrink the browser window. If the site changes and adapts as you shrink the window, then the site is responsive. Alternatively, if the text and menus get cut off, then the site is not responsive. You can also go to sites like mobiletest.me and simulate the use of different mobile devices.

And don’t worry if you’re not as mobile friendly as you want to be yet: According to Tech Crunch — which crawled every Fortune 500 web site using the Google PageSpeed Insights API to identify those sites that are mobile friendly and the ones that are at risk of being penalized in search results starting when Google updates its algorithm — 44% of Fortune 500 web sites failed the test and another 4% of sites did not produce a response.

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