The day Google showed the world who’s boss

Here’s how you can survive Mobilegeddon. Today, April 21st 2015, Google released an update of it’s algorithm that will make webpages that don’t look good on a mobile device disappear from the search results More Help. More accurately, when someone searches on a smartphone, Google will rank web pages that look good on a phone higher than websites that do not look good on a phone. So sites that are now in the top ten, might slip to page 8 or 10. Game over. No more visitors. Rest assured, searches on tablets, laptops and desktop computers are not affected by this change. It’s only about searches on smartphones. But those make up about half of all searches these days. Which explains why Google is doing this. It’s a good thing. Sometimes progress needs a violent push in the right direction. The end user will benefit. So what can you do? You can either make a separate, mobile optimized website or make the existing site responsive. We prefer to make existing sites responsive, because that way the page rank is consolidated on one website instead of spread thin over two separate sites. In order for your website to be responsive, it needs to be ‘smart’ in a way. It has to know what the screen size is, if it is held in portrait or landscape and it must show content in different ways on different screens. So your site needs a Content Management System to power it. Like WordPress. All SwiftySites are responsive out of the box. They look good on all devices, load fast and are Google friendly. We are very close to releasing SwiftySite to the public. It’s a matter of weeks. Not months. And although your site might seem to totally disappear for mobile Google searches, once you’ve copy-pasted your site in SwiftySite, it’ll up right back up in Google. So take a moment to enter your name and email address below, so that we can notify you of the release. Help is on the way.  
April 21, 2015
Chris Vermeulen
General, News, Stuff Google Likes, Swifty, google, mobile, Mobilegeddon, swifty

Why Google wants your site to be responsive (and what that even means)

According to Google, over 50% of all searches are performed on a mobile device. To better service these searches (and to please it’s users) Google will favor websites that a) look good on a smartphone or tablet and b) have a well optimized local listing (Google Maps).  The latter we’ll discuss in a later post, but for now, let’s look at the first one. It makes perfect sense if you think about it. If a person is looking for something on a small screen, he or she is best served with a website that can be read and navigated easily on a small screen. Right? So, does your website look good on a small screen? Or is it outdated, letters to small, sub menu doesn’t work properly? Mobile optimized One way to ensure that your website looks good on a small screen is to design it specifically for it. You then have 2 websites, one for desktop (the current one) and one for mobile. Perhaps even 3 (desktop, tablet, smartphone). Besides having to manage 3 websites instead of just one, there is another huge disadvantage. Your brand new mobile website will hardly have any PageRank. PageRank Google values the pages of your website with a so called PageRank. That is a score between 0 and 10 and it shows the value or weight of the links that point to that page.  So if the New York Times has a link on it’s homepage that points to a page on your site, Google knows that your page is probably very important. But if your best friend Jerry puts a link on his site that points to your site, that has less value. Unless your friends last name is Seinfelt ;-) Responsive So, what to do? Well, from the PageRank point of view, wouldn’t it be nice if your current site looked great on both desktop as well as tablet and smartphone? Well, yeah! That would be awesome, because then the PageRank (which is one of many important factors Google uses to determine how high your site will be shown in Google) of your current pages will (also) be used for mobile searches. So, a website that ‘responds’ to the screen size it is viewed on is a responsive website. And a responsive website will generally be shown higher in Google on a mobile device than a special mobile optimized site, because it has higher PageRank. is an example of a responsive website. Have a look for yourself on a laptop and on your phone. See how the font size stays about the same and how the images scale. The site navigation is changed to a so called ‘hamburger-menu’ for easy access. All sites that will be made with SwiftySite 2.0 will all automatically be responsive and thus Google-ready. Have any questions? I’m here to help. photo credit: jiraisurfer via photopin cc  
June 30, 2014
Chris Vermeulen
Stuff Google Likes, Website Improvement, google, mobile, responsive
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