Google has started notifying webmasters of their incompatible websites. These notices are sent out through Google Webmaster Tools or via email. If you have received one of these notices, here is what you need to know.
- It's not a penalty. Google is not penalizing your website for any wrongdoing. It's not a warning or a manual action.
- It may affect your ranking. Last year, Google introduced the “mobile-friendly” tag on the search results page. If you do a search on your mobile device, the search results page will show “mobile-friendly” next to the websites that are responsive or have properly configured mobile websites. We have noticed the majority of websites showing on the first page have the mobile-friendly tag -- which leads us to believe that Google is giving preference to these websites for mobile searches.
- You can fix it. There are a number of options to quickly correct your website. You may look to a third-party mobile site to set up a site on a sub-domain (something like "m.lawexample.com"). A code is added to your site to notify browsers to display the mobile site when a user is on a mobile device.
- You could reprogram your website. A website properly programmed with a responsive layout will be mobile-friendly. In fact, Google has hinted that its engine prefers responsive websites over secondary mobile sites. Reprogramming your website would only make sense if it was recently designed and if you intend on keeping the design for a few more years. Otherwise, the two other options listed above will be sufficient.
- You can test your site. After you implement a mobile solution, you can take it for a mobile-friendly test drive through Google. If you get the "Awesome! This page is mobile-friendly" notice, you know your efforts were successful.
If your website is built with WordPress, you could activate the mobile plugin built into Jetpack. This will not give you a lot of visual controls, nor will it let you customize the user's experience. But it will add a mobile-compatible rendering ability to your website, making it easier for your visitors to read and navigate your content. It will also make Google happy, and it will earn your site the mobile-friendly tag.
If you are an existing SEO | Law Firm client, and you have not yet added a mobile option to your website, talk to your account manager.