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Time to Get (Mobile) Friendly… Seriously

By: Nextech | April 22nd, 2015

Time to Get (Mobile) Friendly… Seriously Blog Feature

Things have changed a lot since that epic and historic moment, all those years ago, when Al Gore invented the internet (and yet, oddly enough, his name isn’t mentioned once in the history of the internet). 

Just kidding…

About Al Gore, not about things changing.  They have changed.  A lot… Especially when it comes to how we use the internet.  And I’m not just referring to the shocking number of people who ended up using it primarily just to look at pictures of cats.  Originally, searching the internet required a desktop computer with a dialup modem that would scream at the user until a connection was established (remember that sound?).  These days, we have Wi-Fi that allows us to access the internet from various devices—desktops, laptops, tablets, smartphones, and even our cars

And when it comes to internet searches, Google is (most would agree) king.  Sure, there’s always Bing… but… let’s be honest.  Most people think Google when they think about internet searches.  Nobody says, “I binged it” (mainly because people would look at them funny if they did), yet just about everyone knows what it means when someone says “I googled it.”

mobile_friendly_websitesYou’re probably starting to wonder what my point is, aren’t you?  I promise, it's coming.

It started a few years back, as mobile device internet usage began to catch up to PC usage.  Then, in early 2014, the trend shifted to full mobile dominance.  Mobile devices are now the primary medium used to access the internet.  Unfortunately, a lot of websites haven’t kept up with the shift from PC to mobile.  You see, many websites are still not optimized for viewing on mobile devices.  And yet, these “mobile-unfriendly” sites still show up in internet searches made with said devices.

People tend to find it annoying when they tap a site in search results on their phone and the whole thing is distorted or just doesn’t open.

So Google decided to do something about this.

To be more specific, they changed their search algorithm when it comes to mobile device users, making it so websites that are “mobile-friendly” will be given priority in search results. Think of it like this—when someone uses a cell phone to Google, say, “dermatologists near me,” only mobile-friendly websites will show up in the results.  At best, those who are not mobile-friendly will show up around the last page of the results (which almost no one ever looks at, unless the results are only a few pages long).

By the way… This change went into effect as of Tuesday (4/21/15).

What does this mean for you? First and foremost, it means you need to find out whether or not your practice’s website is mobile-friendly, and if it is not, you need to fix it… Please, fix it.  Trust me, you’ll be happy you did.

Fear not… you can survive the (according to CNN) “Mobilegeddon.”  I’d say that’s a bit over the top.  Seriously, it’s not that big of a deal.  Cool it with the panic-inciting headlines, CNN.  It’s just a tech upgrade.  Remember Y2K?  Unnecessary Y2K paranoia caused a bunch of scared, misinformed people to miss the most epic New Year party of the century so they could huddle in bunkers.  Why?  Because of a coding-related date/time issue that had already been resolved years in advance by nearly every company on Earth.  It was a tech upgrade, and not a big deal.

The Google change to mobile-friendly is even more of a “not-big-deal” than that was.

Here’s what you need to do:

Step 1. Go to the Google Mobile-Friendly Test site:

Step 2. Copy the main URL of your website into the box and click the “Analyze” button.

Step 3. If you see the below message, you’re all good. Your site is mobile friendly and there’s nothing more you need to do.

If you do not see this message, then you probably need to contact your web developer and discuss what measures should be taken to make your site mobile-friendly. 


Of course… If you don’t mind losing access to all mobile internet traffic from Google, then you can always just leave the site as it is (I would NOT suggest doing this, however).

Okay. You know what to do.  Get out there and do it.

And stay away from CNN headlines… they’re bad for your blood pressure.