Just days remain until a day that’s been dubbed ‘mobilegeddon’ because of its impact on the search ranking of websites that are optimised for mobile and those that aren’t.
On Tuesday 21 April, Google’s latest algorithm update will specifically reward online brands that are mobile-friendly. With the numbers on their smart phones’ clocks counting down to M-Day, it’s vital that iGaming operators and affiliates ensure their sites make the mobile grade.
What is the 21 April Update?
Mobile-friendliness has been a factor in Google’s search engine algorithms for a number of years. However, the 21 April update will make mobile optimization less a factor and more a necessity.
Still not convinced of the update’s importance? Zineb Ait Bahajji from Google’s Webmaster Trends team recently said the new update will dwarf the Google Panda and Penguin algorithm updates when it comes to revolutionising search.
While Google has been typically tight-lipped about the update, they have made some recommendations for sites. If operators and affiliates combine these with some of own tips, their sites’ search ranking should survive unscathed.
From your homepage to your ‘about us’ and ‘contact us’ pages, operators and affiliates can test each and every webpage on their site to see if they pass Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test. Any pages that fail need to be optimized ASAP.Tip
In 2014, the search engine giant introduced mobile usability reports for tracking mobile issues. It’s vital that webmasters start using these reports to improve the site’s mobile friendliness.
Ideally, sites should have mobile web versions (or even better, apps), but those that aren’t yet cross-platform need to ensure their software is mobile compatible. Software like Flash, which is less common on smart phones and tablets, should be avoided.
Too often a website’s text and context has been designed with a desktop user in mind. Operators and affiliates need to check their sites’ text on a smart phone is clearly readable without needing to zoom-in.
That link you’re clicking on at your desktop computer may be easy to select with a mouse and a large screen, but accessing it on an iPhone will be a whole different story. Check your site using a phone and make sure links aren’t so closely clustered together that they frustrate users.
The way your sites’ content fits on the screen needs to make as much sense visually on a tablet and on a phone as it does on your desktop. Does the homepage look far too busy on your Samsung? If so, it needs to be pared down to make your site mobile-friendly.