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How to prep, in 7 steps, for Google's mobile search change

Sharon Gaudin | April 10, 2015
Here's what to do before Google's mobile-friendly algorithm kicks in April 21.

2. Pagespeed Insights
If the Mobile-Friendly Test shows that you have some work to do, follow the link to Pagespeed Insights. This page shows what needs to be fixed on a website, and tips on how to fix them. It also shows examples of problems by highlighting different areas of your website as seen on a mobile device.

Even if your site is rated mobile friendly, the pagespeed analysis has suggestions for making your web pages load faster.

3. Improve your website

If the Mobile-Friendly Test found that you have work to do on your site, Google offers suggestions from that results page. On the right side of that page, you'll find links to help if you used a CMS (content management system), if someone built the website for you or if you built the website yourself.

If you built the website yourself, for instance, Google notes, "Let's make sure your site shows up in search results. In these sections, learn to configure your site for multiple devices, help search engines understand your configuration, and avoid common mistakes along the way."

It then shows how to choose a mobile configuration, signal your configuration to search engines, and configure your site for other devices.

However, if you used a CMS, Google will give instructions based on the software say WordPress, Tumblr, Blogger or Joomla! you used. The site walks you through an update, offering step-by-step help, such as updating your version of WordPress or adopting a responsive Web design .

4. Google's Usability Report
If you run your site, you can use Google's Webmaster Tools to check your site using the company's Mobile Usability Report for its own set of update recommendations.

Google notes that the tool identifies pages on your site that are having severe usability problems for mobile visitors. You can use the tool to diagnose and fix errors for specific pages and improve their search performance and relevance.

The tool also offers creates a graph to monitor your efforts in getting rid of the issues that keeping your site from being mobiel friendly.. Follow the graph to see how much improvement you're making.

5. Do a search
Of course, another method of checking your site is to do a search for it from a mobile device. If you do a Google search from your smartphone or tablet, you hopefully will see that the search result gets a "Mobile-friendly" label.

If you see the label, which would sit right under the url, then you are good to go. If not, you have more work to do.

6. Check now, check later
It would be smart to monitor where your website sits in mobile search result rankings now and compare it to its position once the new algorithm is working. It also wouldn't hurt to check your ranking position for several weeks after the rollout.

 

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