Google Search has started it’s expansion in the use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal. This new change that started back in mid 2015 will affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide and will have a significant impact in Google Search results. Mobile searchers will find it easier to get results that are optimized for their mobile devices.
The above are quotes from Google and we have prepared a list of FAQs on the importance of a mobile-friendly (responsive) website;
Will this affect my desktop search traffic?
Desktop traffic will not be affected as much as your mobile traffic.
How do I know if my website is mobile-friendly?
You can check if your website is mobile-friendly by using this tool. It shows you how users (and Google) view your website.
I already have a mobile site (m.yourdomain.com). Is this okay?
A mobile site (m.yourdomain.com) is different from a responsive website. While the appearance might be the same, a mobile site (m.yourdomain.com) is branded as a ‘separate’ website by Google and have it’s own pros and cons when it comes to search engine optimization. See video below.
Why must I switch to mobile-friendly (responsive) website?
While your website looks great on a desktop PC, that might not be the case on mobile devices such as iPhones, iPads, Galaxy tabs, etc. With better readability on smaller screens, this enhances users’ experience while surfing and Google takes this into account when ranking websites in it’s search results.
What are the other advantages of a responsive design?
With such design, your website is able to automatically adapt it’s layout based on the screen size. This approach offers plenty of advantages:
- Without the need to maintain separate websites for desktop and mobile, you’ll save time (and money)
- With far better user experience while surfing on responsve website, your online visibility is be enhanced in search results.
- You’ll get better reporting from Google Analytics since all mobile and desktop stats will be consolidated.
- The same will be true for the social sharing stats (Facebook Likes, Tweets, +1’s) since the mobile and desktop versions of your web pages will no longer have different URLs.
- Responsive Designs are easier to maintain as they do not involve any server-side components. You just have to modify the underlying CSS of a page to change its appearance (or layout) on a particular device.
- The earlier design methods looked at user agent strings to determine the mobile device name and the browser that is making the request. That was less accurate and with the number of devices and mobile browsers expanding every day, that matrix is very difficult to maintain. Responsive Design doesn’t care about user agents.