Article

Rick Barron
Rick Barron 25 June 2018

Google's mobile-friendly push is good news for all

When I'm surfing the web on my phone, the words "go to full site" make me weep into my extra-foam cappuccino. I know I'm doomed to a fate of zooming, scrolling, and praying my fingers hit the right link—if the site even works.

Is your company's mobile site quick to load? If not, don't be surprised if its ranking plummets on Google search results. In July of 2018, Google's algorithm changed so that slow-loading mobile sites would suffer the consequences. While this has been a call for action for quite some time, Google uses loading speed as a metric for mobile search result ranking.

If your site is already mobile optimized, congratulations! More traffic for you. If not, be warned: your site may be sinking into oblivion.

Surviving #mobilegeddon

Google's mobile-friendly spawned the panicked #mobilegeddon hashtag, but the process is good news. Mobile traffic already exceeds desktop traffic, and mobile-optimized sites triple their chances of conversion rates of five percent or more. Mobile-friendly design was already critical, and now Google is driving the point home.

The tactic also affects apps. Google considers data from indexed apps in its search ranking, giving users of those apps a better view into their app content. This is great news for developers trying to pitch app improvements.

How to build mobile-friendly sites

Not sure how your site will fare? Google's mobile-friendly test is a good place to start. Once you've established a baseline, there are three ways to boost your results:

  1. Responsive design: Uses a single HTML source that renders differently based on the display size.
  2. Dynamic serving: Delivers different HTML for different devices but uses the same URL regardless of the device type.
  3. Mobile website: Uses separate URLs for different devices.

Responsive design

Responsive design is Google's recommended approach and by far the most popular method for mobile-friendly website design. Because a responsive design can adapt to all screen sizes, your site will be easy to read and navigate on a 27-inch monitor or a five-inch smartphone. Responsive sites also perform better, so users get a better experience all around.

This flexibility also future proofs your design. Because the size of the template is based on the screen size and not the device, a responsive site can adapt to new technologies like watches or glasses.

From a search perspective, having a single URL makes it easier for Google to crawl your site. And having a single code source simplifies site maintenance and reduces the likelihood of SEO errors.

Dynamic serving

Dynamic serving is similar to responsive design in that a single URL delivers content suitable for different devices. However, there are important differences:

  • Dynamic serving requires detection of the user device—a notably error-prone process.
  • You must maintain a separate code base for each device type, increasing the likelihood of errors and complicating maintenance.
  • Deploying a separate mobile site may not meet users' needs. For example, tablet users may find that neither the desktop site nor the mobile site meet their expectations.

In spite of these disadvantages, Google still considers dynamic serving to be mobile friendly.

Mobile website

Creating a separate mobile site is a decidedly old-school approach that isn't recommended. Maintaining a separate, mobile-only website is a real pain, and it forces Google to inspect two versions of your content.

The user experience can be lousy, too. If a mobile user lands on the desktop site, he or she is likely to leave the site rather than search for the mobile version. Who wants to go through all that zooming and scrolling?

If that weren't bad enough, mobile sites are only optimized for specific screen sizes. If the user has a screen size you didn't expect, things can get ugly. For example, a phablet user may find your desktop site too crowded and your mobile site too empty.

Back to the good news

The good news is that Google's mobile-friendly helps clear up any remaining uncertainty about the best approach to web design. If your website isn't already responsive and mobile friendly, now is your chance to convince your boss that it's time for a change.

If you need hints to help you get started, Google has a list of common mistakes for mobile sites. And don't forget that responsive design is only one factor to consider. Lots of other factors, including site speed, play an important role. Now, please go explain to your boss that I can't bear to see "go to full site" one more time—my cappuccino is already too watery.

Minoru Haruyama
Minoru Haruyama

Good News! Everybody sifted Desktop PC to Mobile.

Ramesh Kota
Ramesh Kota

Many of us Majorly use Mobiles more than Desktop so its compulsory to have a website mobile friendly. Thanks for the update

Please login or register to add a comment.

Contribute Now!

Loving our articles? Do you have an insightful post that you want to shout about? Well, you've come to the right place! We are always looking for fresh Doughnuts to be a part of our community.

Popular Articles

See all
7 reasons why social media marketing is important for your business

7 reasons why social media marketing is important for your business

Social media is quickly becoming one of the most important aspects of digital marketing, which provides incredible benefits that help reach millions of customers worldwide. And if you are not applying this profitable...

Sharron Nelson
Sharron Nelson 6 February 2018
Read more
Digital Marketing Vs. Traditional Marketing: Which One Is Better?

Digital Marketing Vs. Traditional Marketing: Which One Is Better?

What's the difference between digital marketing and traditional marketing, and why does it matter? The answers may surprise you.

Julie Cave
Julie Cave 14 July 2016
Read more
Top 10 B2B Platforms to Help your Business Grow Worldwide

Top 10 B2B Platforms to Help your Business Grow Worldwide

Although the trend of a Business to Business portal is not new but the evolution of technology has indeed changed the way they function. Additional digital trading features and branding has taken the place of...

Salman Sharif
Salman Sharif 7 July 2017
Read more
What Marketing Content Do Different Age Groups like to Consume?

What Marketing Content Do Different Age Groups like to Consume?

Today marketers have a wide choice of different content types to create; from video to blogs, from memes to whitepapers. But which types of content are most suitable for different age groups?

Lisa Curry
Lisa Curry 21 October 2016
Read more
Collection Of The Best Email Testing Tools Online

Collection Of The Best Email Testing Tools Online

Don’t be afraid of email testing. There are many free or freemium tools online that can help you with testing your SPAM score, deliverability and even the rendering of your email. We feature 30 email testing tools in...

Roland Pokornyik
Roland Pokornyik 31 October 2016
Read more