Google Is Rolling Out the Mobile-Friendly Update Today: Is Your Website Prepared?

Will Google Penalize Your Not So Mobile-Friendly Website?


They could, but it’s not ALL doom & gloom for the dental websites that don’t play so nice with mobile devices.

According to Google,

If your site’s pages aren’t mobile-friendly, there may be a significant decrease in mobile traffic from Google Search.

The good news is this update:

  • Affects only search rankings on mobile devices
  • Affects search results in all languages globally
  • Applies to individual pages, not entire websites
While the mobile-friendly change is important, we still use a variety of signals to rank search results. The intent of the search query is still a very strong signal — so even if a page with high quality content is not mobile-friendly, it could still rank high if it has great content for the query. 

Another reason not to fear is that once your site does become mobile-friendly, Google will automatically re-process (i.e., crawl and index) your pages.

Answers to the Google Mobile-Friendly Update for Dentists

Image via Google Webmaster Central Blog


How Mobile Unfriendly Dentists Could Be Doomed


As discussed in this post, giving prospective & existing patients a mobile-friendly presence when viewing your website is as important as adhering to a diligent daily dental hygiene regimen.

Google officially announced that today’s the day they begin globally rolling out the mobile-friendly update.

What does this mean to dentists?

Simply put, Google will be boosting the ranking of mobile-friendly pages on mobile search results.

That’s their words, not me paraphrasing.

You see, they want to make it easier for prospective & existing patients [they said searchers] to actually FIND MORE HIGH-QUALITY & RELEVANT RESULTS.

If your dental practice ain’t that result, one of your local competitors IS!


Dentists Need to Go Mobile or Miss Out


Google knows probably better than most broadband internet & cable monopolies – sorry, providers, that our mobile phone is our primary way of accessing the internet.

In the past, 70% of us access the internet from our smartphones.

If your dental website is not what Google considers to be mobile-friendly, it might as well be invisible when someone searches in your area for a local dentist…from their phone.

Don’t think that happens often?

Stop sucking all the nitrous and save some for your patients who need it. Then hang ’em up the loupes cowpoke, cause them doggies are rolling right past your relic of a dental practice right into the warm, welcoming comforts of your local competitor(s).


Mobile Website, App, or Responsive Dental Website?


We won’t get into the intricacies of a dentist’s mobile-friendly dental website design choice, you can go here and here for that.

Just understand that if your website looks outdated, it will not only influence how potential (& existing) patients view your dental practice, it will also adversely affect your mobile search rankings…and just MAYBE your local rankings too.

We are in an always connected multi-screen time and when patients go search for a dentist on their mobile device being THERE when people search is the first ingredient, but being accessible within the mobile environment is a close second.


Test If Your Dental Website Is Mobile-Friendly


Dentists curious about their mobile presence need not rely on pedantic posts like this or salespeople gunning for quota at your dental website supplier du jour.

You’re probably paying an arm & a leg for what most likely is a quick switch for them anyway, but you keep on pushing those expenses off the balance sheet with explanation more so than ROI.

Don’t take anyone’s word for it, except Google’s…type in your website URL to test it for yourself:

You can also check the status of your entire site through the Mobile Usability report in Webmaster Tools.

Once your site becomes mobile-friendly, Google will automatically re-process (i.e., crawl and index) your pages.

You can also expedite the process by using Fetch as Google with Submit to Index, and then your pages can be treated as mobile-friendly in ranking.
Mobile Websites, Responsive Sites, & Mobile Apps for Dentists

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+Chris Barnard is the Managing Partner at Social Dental Network, a boutique digital marketing agency consistently generating tangible return on investment for dentists across North America & the U.K.