​Responsive websites, mobile design and the new Google algorithm

Written by Vincent Gisriel III on June 22, 2015

​Responsive websites, mobile design and the new Google algorithm

With a blog title like that, it sounds like an action packed Clint Eastwood spaghetti western. Sorry to let you down world.

As professional website developers and web consultants it is our responsibility to continuously educate our clients on what Google is cooking up in their code kitchen. In case you haven’t heard, Google recently implemented a new algorithm that will significantly affect the entire Internet.

In Google’s own words:

“We will be expanding our use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal. Consequently, users will find it easier to get relevant, high quality search results that are optimized for their devices.”

So, what in the world does this mean?

Simply put, websites that fail to upgrade to a responsive or mobile friendly format will suffer in search results. According to the website Small Business Trends, “60% of all web searches now takes place on a mobile device.” Since all of your current and potential customers are now walking around with their computers, you can begin to understand why Google has put the pressure on businesses to upgrade their websites. Google will soon reward businesses that choose to invest in responsive websites. Responsive sites go above and beyond being mobile friendly.

What is the difference between a responsive website and mobile design?

Mobile friendly design crams the desktop version of your website onto a mobile phone or tablet computer. Making a website transform to fit and function on a mobile device effectively is a good thing. However, most older mobile designs can be clumsy to navigate and frustrating for the user.

Whereas, responsive website design is a much more advanced form of coding that allows graphics, images and text to adapt perfectly to the size of the screen your visitor is using. Responsive website design requires a higher level of skill that often starts with developing the mobile concept first. Responsive website design provides a more interactive and fluid experience for visitors.

Google would much prefer your website to be responsive over mobile friendly and here is why.

Mobile design is actually a separate version of your website. In Google’s eyes, this means that your web designer has essentially created two copies of your website. One copy works for desktop computers and one copy for tablet computers and mobile or smart phones. This confuses Google and they don’t really dig it. They would rather you have a website with one URL that adapts intelligently to the screen size for the visitor. Google also appreciates that fact that they don’t have to search multiple locations for your content or index repetitive pages.

Wondering if your current website will pass the new Google algorithm test?

It’s actually really easy.

  1. Click on this link Google Test
  2. Enter the URL of any page of your website
  3. Then click Analyze

Goggle won’t be shy. They’ll let you know where you stand instantly. If your business fails the mobile friendly test, don’t worry. Sprout Creatives can help you get straight with the new Google algorithm and all the major search engines.

Every single website that we develop for our valued clients is built to be responsive on the Adobe Business Catalyst platform.

To speak to one of our Web Consultants click on our Contact page or give us a call at 410-973-2128.

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