Important: Make Sure Your Website Works on Mobile by July 5
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Important: Make Sure Your Website Works on Mobile Before July 5

6 mins read

Attention, website owners! Did you know that Google has announced a crucial mobile website update coming on July 5? If your website doesn’t load at all on mobile devices, it could vanish from Google's search results. That’s right! Starting July 5, Google will only index sites that work on mobile devices. This means if your site isn’t up to par, you might lose a lot of traffic.

But don’t panic just yet! This article will guide you through everything you need to know and do to ensure your site is mobile-ready. Stay with us, and let’s get your website optimized before time runs out!

Get Your Website Ready for Google-s Mobile Deadline

How to Prepare Your Website for Google’s Mobile First Deadline?

According to a recent blog by Google Search Central on Mobile-indexing-vLast-final-final.doc, it was mentioned that Google mostly uses a smartphone crawler to look at and index websites. Over time, fewer and fewer sites have been inaccessible on mobile. To make things simpler and help sites fix any issues with different devices, they will soon use only the Googlebot Smartphone crawler to check all sites for search.

To prepare your website for Google's mobile-first indexing deadline, it's important to understand the distinction between mobile-friendly and mobile-accessible websites. While a site doesn't need to be perfectly optimized for mobile devices, it must load on a mobile phone. This is ensured through comprehensive SEO analysis services, where SEO teams identify and address all relevant issues that could impact your site's mobile performance.

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Why Has Google Chosen to Implement Mobile-First Indexing?

According to a report by Statista, mobile phones make up about half of the web traffic globally. In the last quarter of 2023, mobile devices (not including tablets) created 58.67% of all website traffic worldwide.

As per John Mueller from Google, websites now need to be accessible on mobile devices for indexing. According to Mueller, if your site doesn't work on mobile, Google won't index it anymore.

This doesn’t mean your site must be fully optimized for mobile. However, if your site fails to load or display on mobile devices, Google will not index it. It’s acceptable to have a desktop-only design as long as the desktop version can still be accessed and used on a mobile device. This change has been anticipated for a while. That is why Google has now set a clear rule for websites that don’t work on mobile devices at all.

Google Mobile First Indexing is crucial for maintaining visibility in search results. Websites that ignore best practices for mobile-first indexing risk losing significant traffic.

How to Ensure Your Website is Mobile-Accessible?

There are certain ways to ensure that your website is loading or working on mobile devices, that is, to make it mobile accessible.

1. Avoid Unsupported Technologies:

  • Flash: Most mobile devices don’t support Flash. Instead, use HTML5 for videos and animations.

  • Complex JavaScript: While JavaScript can make your website better, using too many complex scripts can cause problems on mobile devices. Test your site on mobiles to make sure it works well.

2. Server-Side Compatibility:

  • Mobile User-Agent Detection: If your site shows different content to mobile and desktop users, make sure your server can recognize mobile devices and show the correct version.

  • Content Negotiation: Offer alternative content formats like WML or XHTML-MP for older mobile devices that might not support standard HTML.

3. Testing and Validation:

  • Test on Real Devices: The best way to ensure your site works on mobile is to test it on actual iOS and Android phones and tablets.

  • Validate Your Code: Use an HTML validator to find and fix any errors that might cause issues on mobile browsers.

Now that we've talked about the difference between mobile-accessible and mobile-friendly websites, let’s look at how to make sure your website is mobile-friendly and liked by search engine crawlers.

How to Ensure Your Website is Mobile-Friendly?

4 Ways to Ensure  Your Website is Mobile-Accessible
  1. Responsive Design: Your website should automatically adjust to fit different screen sizes, whether it’s a phone, tablet, or desktop. This means users shouldn't have to scroll left or right to see the whole page. A responsive design makes sure everything fits neatly on the screen. This is one of the key mobile SEO strategies to improve your site's performance.

  2. Readable Font Text: Make sure the text on your website is big enough to read easily on a small screen. Users shouldn’t need to zoom in to read your content. Choose a font size that is clear and legible on all devices. A mobile-friendly website design ensures your content is accessible to all users.

  3. Touch-Friendly Buttons: Buttons and links should be easy to tap with a finger. This means they should be large enough and have enough space around them to avoid accidental taps. Users should be able to navigate your site effortlessly with touch controls. Implementing these strategies for mobile SEO can help make your site more user-friendly.

  4. Fast Loading Times: Mobile users often have slower internet connections, so your website should load quickly. Optimize your site by compressing images, minimizing code, and using efficient web hosting. Fast loading times improve the user experience and keep visitors from leaving your site due to slow performance.

By focusing on these four elements, you can ensure your website is friendly for mobile users, providing them with a smooth and enjoyable experience.

Important Points for Website Owners

  1. Mobile Accessibility: Google will only show websites in search results if they work on mobile devices. If your site doesn’t work on phones at all, it won’t appear in Google’s search rankings. This means your site needs to be loadable on smartphones.

  2. Desktop Templates: It’s okay if your website is designed for desktops but still loads on mobile devices. Your site doesn’t need to be perfect for mobile, but it must open and be usable on a smartphone.

  3. Desktop Crawling: Google will still use its desktop crawler for things like Google for Jobs and product listings. This means your site might still appear in some reports and logs, even if it’s not mobile-friendly. However, for most search results, your site needs to work on mobile.

Make sure your website is accessible on mobile devices to stay visible in Google’s search results. If your site is primarily for desktops, ensure it can still load and function on mobile to avoid any issues with indexing. How to prepare your website for Google's mobile deadline is essential for maintaining your site's presence in search results.

Knowing how to prepare your website for Google's mobile deadline is essential for maintaining your site's presence in search results. For more insights on how website owners can improve their site rankings through effective content, read our blog: Content is King: Crafting SEO-Friendly Content That Ranks.

Frequently Asked Questions

Ans. The deadline for this update is July 5, 2024. By then, your website should at least load properly on mobile devices to ensure it is mobile-accessible.

Ans. If your website doesn't work at all on mobile devices, starting from July 5, Google won't show it in search results. This means your visitors might not find your site on Google, and you could lose a lot of traffic. Adhering to best practices for mobile-first indexing can prevent this issue.

Ans. You can see if your website works well on mobile devices by using Google's Mobile-Friendly Test tool. This tool checks how your site looks and works on smartphones and tablets. You can also visit your website on different mobile devices to see how easy it is to use.