responsive web design
Google is rolling out an algorithm update, starting in May, that will increase the effect of it’s mobile-friendly ranking signal.
Sites that are mobile-friendly will have the chance to rank higher than their competitors who have yet to make their websites friendly for mobile devices
“Beginning in May, we’ll start rolling out an update to mobile search results that increases the effect of the ranking signal to help our users find even more pages that are relevant and mobile-friendly.”
Klemen Kloboves, a Google Software Engineer
The website above on the left is responsive, and fully readable on mobile devices. The one on the right, well see for yourself!
Google is now sending out messages from webmaster tools informing website owners when there site is not mobile friendly.
“Google systems have tested 153 pages from your site and found that 100% of them have critical mobile usability errors. The errors on these 153 pages severely affect how mobile users are able to experience your website. These pages will not be seen as mobile-friendly by Google Search, and will therefore be displayed and ranked appropriately for smartphone users.”
As of November 19 2014 Google has introduced a ‘Mobile Friendly’ label in it’s search results when searching on a Mobile Devices. I personally have seen this label when searching on my Smartphone, but not on my Tablet.
So what does that mean for your website?
Google will display the label ‘Mobile Friendly’ on sites it deems to fit it’s Mobile criteria. Some elements include sites that avoid the use of Flash, that auto scale text and images for Mobile and that have well spaced links for smaller screens.
I first mentioned the importance of responsive design in my blog post Is responsive website design important? dated 3 September 2013.
In July of this year Google stated the following on it’s Official Google Webmaster Blog