Our friends at Google are at it again! Google, the industry giant that is known for dominating the search engine world, is making a push for website owners to create mobile friendly sites. In a blog post released earlier this month, Google announced that they will be again be changing their algorithm that determines how mobile search results are delivered to their users.
Before I dig into Google’s announcement, for those of you that are new to web design, let me first explain what is meant by a “mobile-friendly” website. Mobile-friendly, also referred to as responsive design, is when a website is designed so that it can be easily viewed and used on any device. If you’ve ever tried to visit a website from your smart phone or tablet and it has appeared very small, it has taken a long time to load or it has not functioned as you’ve seen it do on a desktop…chances are that site was not responsive.
With a responsive web design, the website will respond to what ever device it is being viewed on and format itself to function properly on that device. In some cases, mobile ready sites may look different when viewed on a mobile device, but they keep the same functionality and provide the same information. Websites are not automatically responsive, they have to be intentionally built that way.
Why is having a responsive website so important?
2 reasons. 1, Google says so and 2, it is estimated that up to 50% of all website traffic could come from mobile devices in 2015*. Google’s announcement earlier this month stated that starting on April 21, they were updating their alogrithim to include mobile-friendliness as a part of their ranking system. Once that is in place, when a consumer goes to Google on their mobile device and searche for something, websites that are responsive will be more likely to show up in the mobile search results.
Why does Google care about responsive websites?
Google wants people to use their search engine for browsing. It’s how they make money. The way they stay the consumer’s preferred search engine is by providing relevant search results. Because more and more consumers are using mobile devices to search the web, Google believes that updating the algorithm to include mobile-friendliness as a ranking factor, while improve the consumers experience with them and keep us coming back for me.
I can’t say I disagree. I ALWAYS use my Android for searching and if I come to a site I can’t access, I just leave it and move on to the next. With that said, I actually think this is a good move on Google’s part.
What does this mean for you, the website owner?
Well the answer is simple…if you own a website and it is not responsive, you need to put updating your website to a responsive design at the top of your to-do list. If you are not sure if your site is responsive, check it out on a tablet or other mobile device. If you have questions about improving your website and making it more mobile-friendly, drop me an email and we’ll talk!
*Reference – Survey on Internet Trends