The Google update and how it changes the way people find your website

When I first heard about the Google update a host of questions popped into my mind. I’m sure that others are wondering about it too. I will address some of the most common questions, but before I do there are a couple of terms that I want to clarify in case they are new to you:

A responsive website is one that is mobile-friendly and looks just as good on your phone as it does on a desktop computer. It is easy to read and navigate.

Ranking a website is how high or low in the listings your website appears during a Google search

1. When did the Google Update start?
April 21, 2015 marked the day that Google began to roll out their mobile-friendly update.

2. WHAT is the update?
This update boosts rankings of mobile-friendly web pages on mobile search results. In other words, if your website is NOT responsive or mobile-friendly Google is less likely to give your web pages high ranking.

3. Why did Google implement their update?
It seems like a radical change, even for Google. However, I looked into it and discovered that Google wants mobile users to have a positive experience when they access your website while on their smart phones. They also want businesses to realize that consumers access information most often on their mobile devices. Being able to do so is a convenience that people have come to expect.

4. What is Google looking for when it is ranking web pages?

Convenience for the mobile user is paramount. Google looks for the following ranking factors:
• Web pages must avoid Flash because it doesn’t work on many mobile devices.
• Text must be readable without zooming in.
• Content must be sized to the screen to avoid having to scroll horizontally or zoom in.
• Links must be large and spaced far enough apart so that they can easily be tapped.

5. What should you do?
Ideally, you should have your current website converted to a mobile-friendly site. If you want it to be custom designed and high quality, converting your site for mobile use is going to require a professional web developer.

6. How much will a responsive website cost?
The price will likely be similar to your original investment. If your website was created 2 or more years ago a developer will be starting from scratch rather than modifying your old site. However, having the same web developer convert your old website means that your photos and information can be reused and that saves time and money. On the other hand, she/he will essentially be developing 3 new versions of your website all at once – desktop, tablet, and phone – and that takes time and money. It all evens out in the end.

7. Is there any good news?

Yes. Once Google bots crawl your new responsive website your ranking will be the same on all devices and people everywhere will thank you for providing your information in a user-friendly format.

8. Any REALLY good news?
Sure. Your newly converted website will last many years. You may change some of the content over time, but the overall structure will remain the same. Mobile use is here to stay and it is not going to change formats anytime soon.

9. Do you want a little fun?
See how YOUR website shows up on a mobile phone by using Google’s “Mobile-Friendly Test”. They rate how well your website does. Check it out at this link: www.google.com


Jane Atkinson-White designs mobile-friendly websites as well as printed promotional materials for micro-enterprises, and small to medium sized businesses. Clients enjoy the convenience of having Jane design their projects from conception to final execution because it saves them time, frustration, and money.  For information about Jane’s design services phone 519-644-2786 or use the contact form at www.atkinsongraphics.ca and receive your free consultation phone call.