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Last month, Google shored up advances toward a predominantly mobile-accessed Internet when it announced changes to its search algorithm:
Starting April 21, we will be expanding our use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal. This change will affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide and will have a significant impact in our search results.
The changes essentially reward mobile-friendly websites with better search engine results page (SERP) rankings, and penalize sites that deliver a poor mobile experience with decreased organic search visibility.
Google is making these changes to advance its mission of providing its users with the best web experience. And it’s basing these decisions on digital trends, which continue to point to increased mobile traffic: mobile usage now accounts for 25 percent of all web usage.
Of course, this announcement has led to buzzing speculation about the implications for businesses and their websites across the world. It’s also led to a bombardment of sales pitches from digital marketing vendors – preying particularly on the businesses of the digital marketing uninitiated – extolling the virtues of their mobile-friendly services over competitors. It’s a good move. This announcement, ostensibly, means that websites deemed mobile-unfriendly will be buried far down the SERPs, almost certainly below the fold, and most likely (*gasp*) in outer space on page two or worse!
So how does a business truly know if its website is mobile-friendly?
Despite what digital marketing vendors are saying, many aren’t telling you that Google wants to help its customers out (remember, it wants to provide its users with the best experience – whether accessing the web from a desktop, tablet, or mobile device). If your dealership is getting emails from vendors warning of the impending digital doomsday, visit this link.
It’s Google’s nifty mobile-friendly test. Simply type in your website URL and click “ANALYZE.” Within five seconds, Google will tell you if your site is mobile-friendly or if it isn’t. If it’s not mobile-friendly, Google will list the reasons why, and will provide next steps toward fixing the issues.
Before you let another apocalyptic email from a digital marketing vendor ruin your day, take a minute to take the mobile-friendly test. Either way, it will tell you the truth.
Charles McCarthy is a writer at Dealer.com