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How To Avoid 2015 Google Penalty with a Responsive Website Design

In Google’s recent announcement on mobile search, a new algorithm update will begin this April 21st and affect more website rankings than ever before. Even Google’s initial quake of Panda in 2012 affected only 12% of website queries. But the new update will admittedly affect over 40% of mobile queries.

It is unclear at this stage to what degree each site will be affected but it is known that it will hang in balance between websites being mobile optimized and not being mobile optimized. It is also unclear as to if the new algorithm will affect only mobile search queries or all of search queries.

Below, we’ll show you how to navigate the decision making process when going mobile-friendly. There are a few ways to go and each has its pros and cons which is laid out for you. Much of your direction in going website “responsive” will be dictated on how easy or fast it can be to work with and change your existing website setup.

Google initially announced it’s commitment to improving mobile search in late January and since Google is warning the public ahead of time, it is a wise decision to use this time to prepare. So if you haven’t started, waste no more time and get going!

Here is how to get compliant with Google’s requirement for mobile responsive website design.

“What do I care if my site isn’t ready for mobile?”

Unfortunately, many website owners are still in the thinking that mobile is irrelevant to their business. This is typical of companies who sell mostly or all B2B. They’ll say, “My customers only search via desktop in their office.” or “We are trying to target the purchasing manager in businesses. They don’t buy on their cell phones or tablets.”

Even though the bulk of the search IS still on desktop for those companies, there is still a fast growing necessity to be mobile responsive; mainly for 2 reasons:

  1. Google is about to drop the hammer on mobile search and that could affect desktop rankings as well.
  2. There’s an ongoing increase in assisted conversions. The growth in overall mobile search applies to business users as well as non-business use. The argument that most purchases take place on a desktop holds less water since more purchasing decisions begin on mobile devices and migrate to desktop for further research and the sale.

“Is my site mobile-friendly now?”

Yes- Great job! Carry on with your life!

Not sure? Here’s how to find out: https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/mobile-friendly/

We can assume the Google’s algorithm is going to be taking in more website data than the mobile-friendly tool analyzes but it is a good place to start. If you’re site has failed the test, hopefully you’re not surprised and are ready to take action.

Time to get responsive and be responsive. There is really 2 directions to go when becoming mobile-friendly.

  1. Redesign your entire website for mobile responsiveness.
  2. ONLY create a mobile-friendly version of your website and redirect mobile visits there.

What is responsive design? Watch the video and if you need someone to build it for you give us a call at (800) 796-3683 or use our contact form.

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