Upcoming Google Change Important for Websites in Baton Rouge

March 16, 2015

mobile websites, websites in Baton Rouge

 

On March 4, 2015 at SMX West, Google’s Gary Illyes addressed upcoming changes to the Google ranking algorithm for mobile searches. As it often does, the Internet marketing world blew up after the information was released to the general public. For websites in Baton Rouge, this is going to become important in the next couple of years.

A Very Important Day for Mobile Websites in Baton Rouge

There were a number of big things mentioned during the Q&A that will have drastic effects on mobile rankings after April 21st, which is said to be “a very important day.”

Some of these changes include:

  1. Your site must be mobile-friendly on every page. If some pages pass the check, and some do not, your entire site will likely fail on mobile.
  2. These changes will not affect tablet devices. Tablets are so close to desktops at this point in terms of usability and overall layout, I doubt this will ever change.
  3. Your website must unblock CSS & javascript. Basically, Google wants to be able to access all areas of your website—even on mobile devices.
  4. Offsite resources, such as Google Analytics, that block javascript will not affect crawlability, but webmasters need to take steps to ensure that Google can crawl both CSS and javascript.
  5. Responsive does not have a ranking benefit.

The last point is a big one, and even seems to counteract a post we wrote earlier in 2014 on Responsive Design’s Impact on SEO. Our concern is this will lead many people to think that responsive is not the best choice for their website.

However, if we weave the threads of the Q&A together, the outcome of the talk and our blog post are the same. Responsive is still the best decision you can make for your mobile-friendly website.

While responsive may not provide any benefit to mobile ranking, two of the other points made still lend credence to making the decision to go responsive.

  1. Your site must be mobile-friendly on every page.
  2. Your website must unblock CSS & javascript.

The problem with most mobile solutions is they do not provide for both of these points. Many do not provide crawlability for the entire website, essentially picking and choosing certain pages to show on mobile devices, or they block certain style (CSS) and usability (javascript) elements to make the site work on mobile devices. By using mobile-only site versions, there is a good chance you will be setting yourself up for issues down the road.

If mobile is a concern (and it should be – recent studies show 80% of consumers search the Internet on mobile devices), then a responsive website is the only solution we recommend. Using other solutions create far too many risks and the results could be devastating for websites in terms of organic traffic.

If you would like to know if your website is ready for the upcoming change, we will be happy to help! Call us today at 225-924-6109 or fill out our contact form and a member of our team will be in touch soon.