Google wants mobile-friendly website design… or else.

Google wants mobile-friendly websites In April of 2015 Google announced an initiative to encourage website owners to make their sites “Responsive”. In the Internet world, Responsive means that your web page will render well on mobile devices like tablets and smartphones. In other words it will be mobile-friendly. In Google’s own words, “We’re boosting the ranking of mobile friendly pages on mobile search results”. Should I be worried about this? Well, yes… I’m not sure of the global statistics, but when I examine the analytics reports of my clients some 35% to 40% of visitors are viewing these sites on mobile devices. Perhaps an analogy will help. If your bricks and mortar business relied on walk-in customers, would you be concerned if 35% to 40% of the people who entered your shop had problems opening the front door? What does Google want me to do? Google would like it if your web page had: A defined viewport that adjusts to screen size. Content that flows in the viewport so that viewers don’t have to pinch or scroll to see the entire page. Fonts that scale for easier reading on small screens. Easy to touch elements that are spaced so it’s easy to tap them on a touch screen. A little clarification Google’s new initiative: Affects only search rankings on mobile devices. Applies to individual pages, not entire websites. While mobile-friendly changes are Important, we (Google) still use a variety of signals to rank search results – so even if a page with high quality content is not mobile friendly, it could still rank high if it has great content for the query. If you can’t or won’t make your pages mobile friendly you better be sure your content is top-notch and optimized for search engines. What if I don’t make the changes? Remember this line from the first paragraph, “We’re boosting the ranking of mobile friendly pages on mobile search results”. Flip the statement on its head and it could be interpreted as – If my pages aren’t responsive they will drop in rank on Google mobile searches. How can I tell if my site has mobile-friendly pages? Visit Google’s Mobile Friendly test page. Note that this tool will only test one page of your site at a time. To test more pages copy and paste the URL of each page into the testing tool. One of two messages...
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