Google Favoring Mobile Sites in its Mobile Search Results

Google Favoring Mobile Sites in its Mobile Search Results
April 1, 2016

Google has been advocating the use of mobile-friendly website design for years, and the company has recently announced that they will reward responsive websites that have been optimized to display on a variety of screen sizes with higher rankings in search engine results pages. In short Google will boost the ranking of mobile-friendly websites on its mobile search results.

Today, April 21st 2016, Google began to globally roll out its mobile-friendly update. This is in line with Google’s desire to display pages that offer quality content that individuals who use the search engine are looking for. The move makes sense as more than a fifth of all people around the world access the web from a mobile device, and Internet users have begun to spend the majority of their time online utilizing some sort of mobile platform. In fact, over three quarters of all people perform web searches using a smartphone or tablet.

With this change in the search engine’s algorithm, many businesses are becoming interested in creating responsive websites that can both help them reach out to customers and improve their search engine rankings. However, there are some things that people should understand before they jump into optimizing their site for mobile use.

Separate Websites or a Responsive Configuration
There are several different ways to make a site ready to be displayed on a mobile device. Companies can create separate versions of their sites that are designed to be viewed on mobile devices. These actually have a slightly different URL, and people who view the sites on tablets or smartphones are automatically redirected there.

Mobile versions of websites can also be served dynamically without the need to create an entirely new site that is designed to be responsive. Web servers detect the device that a person is using and presents the appropriate version of the content. In addition, businesses can utilize responsive web design to make their existing site react better when viewed on a smaller screen. This can work very well for some sites, but others may need to be completely overhauled depending on the type of content that the website contains and how it is displayed.

Do Not Fret
In the past, Google algorithm updates have had a significant negative impact on many sites that were in compliance with best practices until the changes were implemented. In fact, some websites have been taken out of the Google rankings completely when they were found to have been in violation of changes made in new updates. However, the same is not true with the newest algorithm that prioritizes mobile-friendly website design. Owners will not see their sites fall out of the rankings entirely, and they can quickly get back to where they were before or even increase their rank if they are able to adapt to the new algorithm change.

Make Sure That Google Sees Your Site’s Mobile Readiness
Even though a site may have a mobile-friendly design, the automated bots that Google uses to evaluate responsive websites may not see it. This is because most webmasters will set permissions on CSS and JavaScript files that make them inaccessible to the public. This is a very good idea from a security perspective. However, Google bots need access to these files in order to determine if a site is optimized for mobile use. With this, it is important to set permissions on JavaScript and CSS files in a way that lets Google bots read them.

The Bottom Line
Optimizing a business’ website for mobile use can be helpful in a number of different ways and is a must. It can assist sites in gaining higher search engine ranking that ultimately results in more customers and conversions. In addition, it allows your leads and customers who land your website from a mobile search to easily view everything and never face user experience issues.

If your company is looking for help with transforming its dated website to the Google mobile-friendly responsive web design and avoid being penalized by Google, contact eLab Communications today for a complimentary audit and estimate. 888.624.8321 or 831.375.7600

Recommended Video: Learn About Responsive Websites in 2 Minutes

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