Monday, April 20, 2015

Mobile Ready

Mobile Ready

On April 21st, Google is going to roll out one of the biggest updates ever to search.

This update could impact your website massively if it is not mobile friendly.

Mobile usage on the internet is increasing at an exponential rate, and now Google are not only recommending you pay attention, they are going to make sure – by penalizing you if you don’t.

What is this Google Mobile Ready update all about?
Google makes an announcement that you should use responsive design. Most websites using responsive design deal with slow load times which inherently have negative SEO consequences meaning your ranking is negatively impacted.

 Q&A session for mobile-friendly ranking change

Google has also recently been pushing for more feeds from Trusted Partners, which are a key component of both mobile apps and single-page web apps since Phantom JS and Prerender IO (and similar technologies) together essentially generate crawlable feeds for indexing single-page web apps.

Googles Mobile-Friendly Test

As a web devoloper and programer we have been writing custom Javascript code for over 10 years to handle screen sizes and using custom JS code. Now Google wants full access to all the code and css. Im not happy about letting joe public have access to that code, but it looks like we all need to play the game. Maybe they will set a standard and we all have a consistent playground. I'm also inclined to believe that the use of the new "Mobile-Friendly" designation in mobile SERPS may be temporary,( Untll Mr. Microsoft put it in ther non-compliant rules and we are back to the same old games)

What about sites that redirect to a mobile sub-domain?

This is an interesting question, because immediately after the roll-out of the Mobile-Friendly tagging, we saw significantly more mDot ('m.') websites ranking well in the mobile SERPS. This is how RwB Digital was handling the mobile issues in the early 2000's. Then (responsive web design with server-side components) approaches can provide a user experience that is better optimized for mobile devices.
It's almost like they counted the mobile sub-domain as a Mobile-Friendly signal, but started the algorithm fresh, with no historical data to indicate which other sites had fewer obvious signals of mobility, like a responsive design, or an adaptive or dynamically served mobile site. It is also interesting to note that many of the Google representatives seem to have recently backed off of their strong insistence on responsive design. They still say that it is the least error-prone, and easiest to crawl and index, but they also now seem to be more willing to acknowledge the other viable mobile site architectures.

Google goal is for optimal experience for users of mobile devices. Whether they look through images, read the info, or search for contact details, Google wants them to feel the same comfortable as users of desktops. For that reason, this search engine giant will take into account the following data to determine a website ranking on the SERP:
  • Scalability of fonts to smaller displays (read more about responsive typography here)
  • Easy use of buttons and other touch elements and their distance between each other
  • Re-direction of mobile users to mobile URLs, if a site has any of them
  • Possibility to crawl CSS & JavaScript
  • Relevant cross-links
  • Fast loading time and general performance

Googles web developer Guide To Make It Responsive
The web is accessible on a huge range of devices from small-screen phones through to huge-screen televisions. Each device presents its own unique benefits and also constraints. As a web developer, you are expected to support all ranges of devices.
Read Googles Guide...

This test will analyze a URL and report if the page has a mobile-friendly design.

Learn more about the mobile-friendly criteria and how it may affect Google's search results by reading Googles blog post.

Until they standardize the internet and web browsers, they should standardize screen resolutions, color gamut and make a low-fat, low calorie banana split that taste good.

Happy Codding
RwB Digital