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 Or is it outdated, letters to small, sub menu doesn’t work properly?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. Swifty.online 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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