Did Your Site Get a Mobile Usability Warning?

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This Monday, the internet was abuzz when Google sent out warnings about mobile website usability to MANY websites. Of course, none of the sites our amazing developer, Lucy, created got a warning.  We hear that many local companies did receive warnings, so we’re feeling pretty proud here at The Primm Company.

Here’s a brief FAQ that you may find useful:

Why does this warning matter?

Mobile internet usage now exceeds desktop internet usage.

Google is likely about to make a major algorithm change that will affect mobile rankings (and possibly even desktop rankings). In recent months, they have launched a mobile-friendly testing tool, began providing mobile usability reports within Webmaster Tools, and have even been labeling sites in the search results as “mobile friendly.”

There has been a penalty since 2013 for broken mobile sites, but this will likely go far beyond that.

How can I find out if my site got a warning?

Log in to Google Webmaster Tools (GWT). In the upper right-hand side of the screen, you’ll see a link that says “Site Messages.”  If your site has a mobile usability warning, you’ll find it there. If you don’t have GWT installed, or if you don’t have access to your GWT account, contact the individual or company that built your site and ask.  If that’s not possible, or if they’re unable to give you an answer, you can follow these directions to install GWT yourself.  It takes a day or two for Google to crawl your site and report issues, so check back after 48 hours to see if you have the mobile usability warning.

But I have a responsive WordPress Theme. I thought that was mobile friendly. Why did I still get a warning?

There are a number of reasons a site may not have been designed with mobile in mind. 1) Not all WordPress themes are created equal.  2) If your website is more than two or three years old, it’s possible that certain mobile-friendly features weren’t included at the time.  3)Thoroughly testing a site on multiple devices and browsers is time consuming. Not all web designers do a great job of it.

What should I do if my site got a warning?

The message Google sends has links to useful tools.  Suggested fixes may include fixing touch element widths or an un-configured viewport. You will likely need to have a professional web developer fix these issues.

Please call or email The Primm Company if you need help getting your site up to current mobile standards. We’d love to help!