Google Mobile Compatibilty Penalty Begins April 21 - Test to Make Sure Your Site is Okay for SmartPhones

Mobile-friendly sites will be ranked higher in Google Search Results Beginning April 2015. 

The Google Webmasters have let everyone know that beginning next month, sites that are not easy to read on mobile devices are not going to rank as high as comparable sites that are easy to read with a mobile device or smartphone.

In other words, you are going to be penalized starting April 21, 2015 if your website or blog is not compatible with mobile devices and friendly to searches on small phone screens.   

The deadline to be mobile-friendly is April 21, 2015.

Check Your Site for Compatibility with Mobile Devices 

There is an online site that allows you to input your site’s url and determine if you need to worry about this or not.
  1. Go to Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test and enter a few pages to confirm the compatibility of your site or blog.  
  2. Go to your Google Webmaster Account and check your entire site by grabbing a Mobile Usability Report. 

What if You Fail the Google Mobile-Friendly Test? 

If your site or blog fails the test, don’t panic. The test itself (or your Google Webmaster Report) will explain the steps you need to take in order to have your blog or web site ready to meet Google’s Mobile Friendly requirements by the deadline of April 21st.

You may need to get busy, though.  April 21, 2015 isn't that far away ....

Why Is Google Doing This? 

Google is pushing mobile compatibility because so many of its clientele are searching Google using mobile devices. Google wants to provide the best information to those folk who are using Google and that means pushing those providing content on the web (like you and me and your competitors) to make sure that their stuff is friendly for mobile devices. 

It’s all about delivering the best service to the person choosing Google for a search in lieu of Bing or Yahoo or Ask etc. on their smartphone.  

From the Google Webmaster Central Blog:

When it comes to search on mobile devices, users should get the most relevant and timely results, no matter if the information lives on mobile-friendly web pages or apps. As more people use mobile devices to access the internet, our algorithms have to adapt to these usage patterns. In the past, we’ve made updates to ensure a site is configured properly and viewable on modern devices. We’ve made it easier for users to find mobile-friendly web pages and we’ve introduced App Indexing to surface useful content from apps. ….
Starting April 21, we will be expanding our use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal. This change will affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide and will have a significant impact in our search results. Consequently, users will find it easier to get relevant, high quality search results that are optimized for their devices. 

For more information, check out:


Amazon 1099 for EBooks on Kindle and Books on CreateSpace in 2015

Your Amazon Books and Federal Income Taxes

If you made money publishing books on Amazon.com in 2014, then you're right to expect a form from them to include with your 2014 income tax return that's due in April.  You should be getting an IRS Form 1099-MISC that tallies the amount of revenue you received from publication sales on Amazon.com during the tax year 2014.

However, things are messy this year.  Like you needed more headaches at tax time, right?

3 Things to Know About Your Amazon Book Sales for Your 2014 Income Taxes

Here's the scoop:

1.  You cannot download your Amazon 1099.

First of all, you cannot go online and grab the 1099-MISC from your Amazon Author Central site.  It's not there (although you can download these things from other sites, like Smashwords).  Your forms are coming to you via the United States Postal Service, mailed to the address you've given to Amazon.  So, if you've moved in the past year or so, check your Amazon account to make sure they have your current address.  

2.  There's more than one Amazon 1099.  

Second, you won't get just one 1099-MISC from Amazon.  Nope.  You'll get one for your ebook sales from Kindle Direct Publishing and you'll get a separate 1099 from CreateSpace.

3.  Amazon is sending out corrected 1099 Forms.

Third, they are being sent late and some are being sent twice because the first round of IRS 1099s had mistakes in them.  Amazon should have sent you an email advising you to disregard the first form and that an amended version was being sent out in mid-February.  

More Information From Amazon

Questions?  Email Amazon at 1099 [at] amazon.com if you have specific issues. There's also lots of information about taxes and your Amazon publications at their Tax Information resource section.

And, remember: this may be a hassle, but the silver lining is that you've made money from your own writing if you're dealing with 1099 issues here -- so congrats!