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How Does The 21st April Mobile Update Affect Visits to The Site?

SZI Outsourcing Mobile Friendly

You knew it earlier. Probably you all started feeling the inevitability of mobile friendliness back in 2013, when the important sites on mobile browsers started looking inadequate to you. It is never quite easy browsing on a hand-held device. It is even more difficult when you need to depend on the tip of a finger to move the site and bring every part of the webpage in front of your site for closer view and better readability. By 2014, people from all over the world could understand that mobile-search result is the future for online marketing and information dissemination. During the post ‘algorithm update’ days after 21st April, 2015, Google’s attitude towards different websites has gone through a serious change. As a result of the update, most site owners are a little agitated about what can actually be a headache and what can help them benefit from the process. We would like to answer a few questions that might be swarming inside your brain since 21st.

  1. What happens to the desktop and tablet rankings from now?

This particular update has nothing to do with the existing rankings of the desktop versions of a website. The update is aimed only at the searches on mobile devices in all languages and from every part of the world.

  1. Does the impact happen page-wise or site-wise?

The changes are felt on every page. If 10 out of 15 site pages are mobile-friendly and rest are not, the effect of this update can be visible only on those 10 pages.

  1. How to understand whether Google considers my site to be mobile-friendly or not?
In order to check mobile-friendliness of a particular webpage, you need to take help of a Mobile-Friendly Test. In order to check site-level mobile-friendliness, you need to check mobile usability report on the Webmaster Tools. This test features statistics on the basis of the last crawl and indexing of the site’s page.

  1. What if the mobile-friendly pages are not ready yet?
There is no need to wait till another update to understand whether a page is actually mobile-friendly or not. The signs start showing up when the site is indexed and crawled. After the webpage is mobile-friendly, you should wait till Googlebot for smart phones start re-crawling and indexing that page. You can also speed up the process by the use of Webmaster Tools. While the indexing is done on large volume of URLs, submitting a sitemap might help. If the mobile content uses already existing URLs with Dynamic Serving, Responsive Web Design, it also includes lastmod tag.

  1. My site did not show any drop in traffic on 22nd of April. Am I not affected by the update?

It is definitely not a very feasible way to determine whether site rank is impacted by the update or not after 21st April. In fact, the very initial impact took around a week to make its mark after rolling out of the update.

  1. My mobile website is properly optimized. Why does it fail the Mobile-Friendly Test?
If a site page is properly designed and optimized to work perfectly on a mobile device and still it does not seem to be mobile-friendly enough, the reason might be that Googlebot for smart phones got blocked from different crawling resources such as, JavaScript, CSS that are extremely important for checking whether that webpage is usable enough on a mobile device or not. There are certain remedies to the problem.

  • Check to find out if the test for mobile-friendliness shows blocked sources or not.
  • Let Googlebot crawl all the necessary files.
  • Make sure, the site passes a mobile-friendly test.
  • Use Fetch and submit the updated robots.txt to Google for speeding up the re-processing of all updated pages of the site. You can also wait for Google to re-crawl and index the pages naturally.

The site owner should allow Googlebot crawling all the resources for a particular page. The crawling should include, images, JavaScript and CSS that the page can be properly rendered, indexed and assessed properly whether the page is mobile-friendly or not.

  1. What would be the effect of linking to a site that is not mobile friendly?

A particular webpage can be “mobile-friendly” despite its linking to a page that is not mobile-friendly and designed only for larger screens like that of a desktop. It is not quite often that the mobile visitors agree on switching their device to access the site on a larger device. Therefore, the site owners are mending their ways to become mobile friendly and reach out to more net users.

  1. Does Google offer a better mobile-friendly rank to pages with Responsive Web Design that has the same HTML and URL for mobile and desktop versions? Or is it kinder to hosting a separate site for mobile?

Mobile-friendliness is measured in the same way for responsive web design and a separate mobile URL for a site. If the website relies on a separate mobile URL or even dynamic serving, reviewing the Mobile SEO guide can assure you of the fact that Google crawls and indexes all the mobile web pages.

  1. Is the site or page going to disappear on mobile search result provided the site is not mobile friendly?

As the mobile-friendly changes are quite important we can use a number of different signals that help in ranking the search results. The goal of the search query is quite a strong signal. If the page with very high quality content is not quite mobile-friendly, it still stands a chance in ranking high mainly on the basis of great quality content for a particular query.

  1. What should a site owner do if all his clients are on desktop?

According to statistics, most people move towards a “mobile only” search procedure usually because they never owned a desktop. There might be another reason for the same that they do not want to replace their existing desktop, which is not in operational condition. Moreover, a mobile visitor often shuns non-mobile friendly sites due to inconvenience of visiting the site.

There are different other ways too in which the latest mobile algorithm affect a website that has not been optimized for a mobile device.