In the web development and Search Engine Optimization (SEO) world, there’s been an atmosphere of fear and loathing of late. Mobilegeddon. Mobocalypse. Or our favourite: Moby Data. Okay, we made that last one up.

As of April 21, 2015, Google has modified its search to give preference to sites optimized for mobile (mobile-friendly) in mobile search results. While this won’t affect desktop search results, most searches are being done on mobile devices now, and this will likely be a big deal if your site doesn’t deliver a satisfying experience for mobile users, or worse if your site breaks outright on hand-held devices.

Current website practice is already mobile friendly, with Primal Tribe and many other digital marketing agencies championing the idea of mobile first: the core set of functionality your customers will always need to access regardless of device used. From there, you can scale up the presentation and extras for larger devices like full-size tablets, laptops and desktops.

This is best accomplished right now using responsive design methods to add, remove or shift content depending on screen size and orientation. While this isn’t a guarantee, if your site is already responsive and delivering a good experience for your customers, the Google update will only serve you well. The theory is you’ll rank higher than websites which are not deemed mobile friendly. Ultimately, businesses which wish to remain competitive in the online world will update their sites – which is most likely anyone who wants to keep eating – so this is more about ensuring the web’s abilities and effectiveness moving forward rather than giving preference to one company over another.

Google has a quick test you can perform on your site to check if it is mobile friendly.

Plug in your site’s address and you’ll be given the yea or nay in short order. For many, the sky is not falling, and you don’t need to panic. Really, even if your site is not up to mobile standards right now, don’t panic. No good ever came from running around flapping your wings and shouting at the sky. Except to entertain your colleagues on Tuesdays at 3. Send pictures.

If your site isn’t doing its job on mobile – perhaps you haven’t updated it in a few years – we can help you with that. We can assess your site’s structure and how it holds up. If the weaknesses are significant, we’ll see if we can adapt it to current requirements or, if we need to, build something new. Our experience has shown us that starting over with mobile first is often more economical, time efficient and less frustrating for everyone involved rather than retrofitting older sites not intended for responsive design. Our goal will always be to create a dynamic and responsive platform that delivers a great experience for all users, mobile and desktop.

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