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.

According to Google’s Webmaster Central Blog, the 21 April update will “affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide and will have a significant impact in our search results”. The word “significant” is Google-speak for “look out, webmasters”.
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.
However, beyond the fact that mobile-optimization will be inextricably tied to online brands’ search ranking, Google hasn’t given much away about the update. Rather than waiting till next Tuesday to find out, iGaming operators and affiliates need to make sure their sites are ready to survive Mobilegeddon today.
Is Your Site Prepared for the 21 April Update?
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.
Tip #1 – Take Google Developers’ Mobile-Friendly Test
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
#2 – Use Google’s Mobile Usability Reports
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.
Tip #3 – Ensure Your Software is Mobile Friendly
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.
#Tip 4 – Make Your Content & Text Readable on a Phone
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.
#Tip 5 – Ensure Your Links Don’t Test Users’ Fingers
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.
#Tip 6 –Think Mobile & Tablet Screen Size & Not Just Desktop
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.
Do you have your own tips about making iGaming brands and affiliate sites mobile-friendly? Tell us your own advice in the comments section below.