As of April 21, Google has begun to roll out changes to the way it ranks websites in its mobile search engine. The internet has been calling this “mobilegeddon” and, while that might be a slightly harsh title, whether or not you act on these changes can make a huge difference in the success of your site.
It’s important to note that these changes will only apply to Google’s mobile search engine. This means that your desktop rankings will not be penalized. However, desktop rankings are becoming increasingly irrelevant.
Today, it’s estimated that over 60% of Google searches were done on a mobile device. As we move away from desktops and toward mobile devices such as tablets, smart phones and, now, the latest watches, this number will only continue to grow.
What’s Google Want Now?
Keeping up with Google’s changes has always been at the top of any site owner’s priorities. Just when you think you’ve got your bases covered, a new algorithm adjustment gets rolled out. So what do they want this time?
Basically, it’s the same thing we all would like to see: For the sites we visit on our smart phones and tablets to be mobile-friendly. As we’ve all encountered, if a site does not respond to each of the different devices we use, it can be frustrating to say the least.
Maybe you’ve heard this phrase being tossed around, but today it’s more important than ever to understand what it means.
For years, designers were working with a ‘fixed width’ template that was the standard for all websites. For many years, this was 800 pixels. As monitors got bigger, so did the width of the design. But it was always fixed, or standardized.
A responsive site is one that adapts to the size of whatever device it’s being viewed on. Whether it’s a small smart phone, a medium-sized tablet or a large desktop monitor, the site responds to the different sizes and is beautiful, readable and usable on all of them.
To learn more about responsive design and why it’s important, head over to our Mobilegeddon page.
There are a few things you can do today to ensure your site stays relevant to Google search. The first is to test your site using Google’s mobile-friendly test. Google is looking for page-specific friendliness so it’s important to test each of the main pages on your site.
If your site passes, then you’re good (for now). If your site does not pass, then we highly suggest considering a new, responsive design.
Won’t a Plugin Fix it?
While there are plugins that can create a mobile-friendly site, the end result is a mobile site that looks nothing like your design. Not only can this be confusing to your visitors, it’s not likely to serve as a long-term solution.
For the past few years, Google has been recommending responsive design over all other solutions. We know that Google does not make these types of recommendations lightly. We also know that Google is always one step ahead of the game. Even as they roll out these new changes, they’re already working on the next set of adjustments.
Because of this, responsive design is the only solution we recommend for 99.9% of the websites we serve. Are there exceptions? Sure. But they’re few and far between.
Visit our Mobilegeddon page to learn more and request a quote. If you have any questions, drop us a line or leave a comment below.