Learn more about Google’s mobile update

27th May 2015

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The latest, significant changes to Google’s search algorithms are aimed at the mobile world, to help cater to the needs of mobile searchers.

The new algorithm will mean users will be given more relevant results for the device they are searching on, so for example when users are searching on a smart phone, Google will favour results from websites that are what they term ‘mobile ready’ over the other websites when displaying results.

What does mobile ready mean and how do I make my website ready?

Well basically it means having a website that is optimised for mobile viewing and browsing from mobile devices. There are a few options,

1. Separate URLs

In this configuration, each desktop URL has an equivalent different URL serving mobile-optimized content. A common setup would be pages on www.example.com serving desktop users with corresponding pages served on m.example.com for mobile users. It will work but it means maintaning two sites and more set up costs and time.

2. Responsive web design

A responsive website is an approach to web design aimed at crafting sites to provide an optimal viewing experience—easy reading and navigation with a minimum of resizing, panning, and scrolling—across a wide range of devices (from desktop computer monitors to mobile phones).

 

Back in the day websites were built to computer sizes and you could just make it 900 pixels wide and that was fine at one point when all computer screens were wider than 900 pixels. Nowadays though with the amount of smart phones and tablets, the screens of internet enabled devices come in all shapes and sizes. Responsive web design addresses this issue and offers users a pleasant and user-friendly mobile browsing experience.

A responsive website is one website that simply adapts the layout to the viewing environment by using a combination of fluid, proportion-based grids, flexible images, and media queries. Meaning they are optimised for mobile viewing and this is the type of website that Google is now favouring in its latest update.

 

 

Put simply, if your site isn’t fully mobile optimised, you’re going to see a big hit to your ranking on mobile searches.

How do I check my site?

You can check your website a few ways. Search your website on a mobile device using Google, if your site is ready then you should see the new ‘mobile friendly’ tag at the start of the site description.

Alternatively you can test to see if your site is mobile ready or if it will be affected by the update by clicking here and using Google’s own mobile test page.

At Establish we always build our sites to be responsive to deliver a better experience for our clients site visitors and clearly Google agrees this is a better approach with their latest update. If you need a responsive website or any help or advice with the update talk to us today and see how we can help you. We’re happy to answer any questions or offer free advise.

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