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Google’s upcoming mobile-friendly algorithm has webmasters panicking as the deadline fast approaches. As always, when there is fear there is also plenty of misinformation.

In particular, there is one myth going around which is stirring up quite a bit of trouble.

Google has attempted to be clear that their new mobile algorithm will demote pages that don’t pass a mobile-friendliness test when they might appear in mobile search results pages. Unfortunately, that is being misconstrued.

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As Barry Schwartz shared, emails are going around proclaiming Google will be completely removing sites from search results if they don’t live up to the mobile standard. Not demoted, but completely de-listed and removed from Google.

The rumor was noticed when Ashley Berman Hale, an active personality in the Google Webmaster Help Channels, posted an email she recently received with the title “Google Removing Your Site From Search Results This Month!”

The copy of the email then goes on to say, “Did you know Google will demote or delist you from their search results if you don’t have a mobile friendly site by April 21st?”

Now, the mobile algorithm on the horizon is certainly controversial among webmasters, but there is no need to be spreading outright lies. Google’s initial announcement of the algorithm was relatively vague, but they have been working hard to make sure webmasters’ questions were getting answered. It also didn’t take long for many of the experts from Google to chime in and clear the air.

Google’s Gary Illyes posted a response on Twitter:

Google’s John Mueller also posted a short statement on Google+ to make matters perfectly clear:

It’s great to get people motivated to make their website mobile-friendly, but we’re not going to be removing sites from search just because they’re not mobile-friendly. You can test your pages & reach our documentation (including some simple tweaks that might work for your CMS too) at http://g.co/mobilefriendly

Hopefully this settles the matter once and for all. Google’s algorithm WILL demote your site on mobile search results, but it WILL NOT affect you on desktop search results or completely remove you from the listings.

You would think the sky is falling given how webmasters and online marketing experts are responding to Google’s huge upcoming mobile algorithm. Sites are tossing around all manner of terrifying nicknames such as the mobilepocalypse, mobilegeddon, mobocalypse, or mopocalypse to stir up fear and panic, but the truth is the upcoming update shouldn’t be all that scary for you.

If your site serves mobile users and you care at all about your customers, you should already have made efforts to make your site mobile-friendly. While a big ranking drop seems frightening, the truth is that mobile users are probably already avoiding your site. Don’t think of the upcoming change as being forced to change your site to please search engines. Thank of it as improving your site for mobile users.

Countless sites are talking about the “mobilepocalypse” as if the world is ending, but I’ve already covered the simple set of steps you need to take to check that your site is ready for the mobile update. If you aren’t passing Google’s mobile test, this infographic from Nine Hertz will walk you through what needs to be done before the 21st.

 Mobilepocalypse

SmartphoneNot long ago Google announced its upcoming mobile-friendly algorithm change, but the search engine is making efforts to help webmasters prepare as well as possible. Google has been offering a steady stream of information helping webmasters avoid common mistakes while converting websites to mobile-friendly designs.

After answering questions over Twitter, Google also decided to directly ask webmasters what they were confused about and what problems they were encountering. Then, Google compiled the most common mistakes and shared them in a simple and easy to explore list.

According to Google, the most commonly mentioned mobile mistakes are:

  • Blocked JavaScript, CSS and image files: In order for Googlebot to see your site as a real user would, always allow access to these files in your site’s robots.txt.
  • Unplayable content: This consists of certain types of videos, or other content, that are not playable on mobile devices, such as license-constrained media or media that requires Flash.
  • Faulty redirects: If you have separate mobile URLs, you must redirect mobile users on each desktop URL to the appropriate mobile URL.
  • Mobile-only 404s: Some sites serve content to desktop users accessing a URL but show an error page to mobile users. Instead, redirect mobile users to an equivalent mobile page to avoid 404s.
  • App download interstitials: This is when websites block the view of pages with a prompt to download the site’s native app. Instead, use a small HTML banner at the top of the page.
  • Irrelevant cross-links: This is when users are linked to desktop-optimized pages from the mobile version of the site, and vice versa. Check your links to make sure that they point to the correct equivalent page.
  • Slow mobile pages: In order to avoid user frustration, ensure your mobile pages load quickly. You can check your page speed with Google PageSpeed Insights.

You can learn more from the complete guide here.