If not, you’d better be ready for lowered Google position.
I discovered this post a couple weeks back and thought I’d share. We have been promoting web sites which are responsive in design for some time now. Whenever we say “responsive”, what we really mean is that they will adapt to the screen where they’re rendered. A good quality responsive website design will easily display using a huge 23″ display operating at 2000+ pixel widths and look excellent down to a simple Android phone display screen. The expression “easily display” here suggests that it is readable with no pinch/zoom.
Get a look at the Google Webmaster source post here
Mobile Friendly / Responsive Website
There are lots of web sites to be found at this point that have a fixed width format that looks wonderful on a pc, but when you get it on a mobile device – it is just a little bit different. Minuscule little pictures, font which is far too small to read and a tremendous amount of lateral scrolling. All of that makes for an experience for your visitor that makes your web site just not a whole lot of fun.
Compare that with a responsive website, like this one, where all the text is handily viewed, images resize properly and navigation is workable without being a finger sharpshooter. We now have been building responsive only sites over the past year or so exclusively – and today those consumers are going to benefit from that decision we made if they ever are aware of it or not.
Bad Redirects to Your Mobile Website
While the display problem is not specifically pointed out in the Google Webmaster Blog posting (YET), it is actually pointed out in the Google “Building Mobile-optimized Websites” resource page. What is expressly described are faulty/poor redirects (which are also taken care of with a responsive website design). In the example right from Google, all of the web pages are actually being redirected to a root mobile page. What Google is expecting to see is a proper redirect – if I am a searcher and I get the “foo” page in the google search results, then when visiting on a smartphone, I darned well better find a mobile “foo” page whenever I just click that link. If you don’t have a mobile “foo” website page, then the desktop version is supposed to be served – not a homepage redirect, or even worse, a 404 error page. Many mobile websites will “404” it (throw an error) and take the visitor to the mobile home page. No longer is this going to be acceptable.
The Mobile Website Experience
There are lots of “mobile websites” out there that try to take a 10-50 page website and cook it into about 5 pages which were deemed most crucial to a website visitor. Look at dining places for example. It is common to get a mobile website that features the menus and traveling directions and leave out the remaining web site pages. The little corollary mobile website is less expensive to create than a new full-blown responsive website, it’s much easier to keep updated because there are far fewer pages usuall, and it offers a highly mobile-optimized interface. It’s though another thing to need to update and keep in sync. It can be a good compromise, but at what expense in the future?
Going forwards, it will mean that you’d better have your redirects perfect and all the other i’s dotted and t’s crossed, or have problems with lower rankings. Additionally, it will mean that any page which you want to be showing in Google listings need to have a mobile friendly adaptation. In the case of MOST web sites, I really expect to see all of the webpages listed – I put them there for a good reason. When we work local websites, there are usually a LOT of town and city pages. If you try to take your site down to just a few pages and cram your carefully constructed Google-killer website into 5 pages, well, you’re going to leave a whole lot of pages out in the cold. And a whole lot of search engine results pages (SERPs) missing YOUR pages.
Losing a Third of Your Visitors
We have numbers on and take care of over 100 sites currently and being able to aggregate all the data coming from all of those sites gives us a solid insight. A full third of visitors on MOST of our internet sites are literally visiting with a mobile device. So for a lot of of our clients, a decline in their mobile rankings for one third of the existing visitors is likely not something they would wish to see. Not to mention, if you’ll be performing SEO work on those websites, that also is not necessarily something you wish to deal with.
OR, you could always remove all of the worry and concern about your web site overall and go responsive. One site. One update. NO redirects. No issues.
Call us for additional details on getting a responsive design into position for YOUR website.
Of course if you’ve already got a Lizardwebs-built website in the last year, you can just take it easy. We’ve already got you covered