Responsive Design’s Impact on SEO

July 22, 2014

It’s no secret that smart phones are poised to over take desktop computing as the primary way consumers and businesses alike interact with your brand online. At Gatorworks we have seen a steady flow of businesses requesting our design and development services to help prepare their brand for a primarily mobile web.

While most SEO principles are centered around content, there are a lot of relatively unknown rules to follow concerning the technology that was used to build your site, the structure of that technology, and design of the. However, when it comes to the way people interact with your site while using a smartphone some SEO rules are so unknown that you could almost call them secrets. I’m going to let you in on one of those secrets now.

To improve the search experience for smartphone users and address their pain points, we plan to roll out several ranking changes in the near future that address sites that are misconfigured for smartphone users. 

—Yoshikiyo Kato, Software Engineer, on behalf of Google Mobile Search team

If your brand’s web application or brochure site does not employ best practices for smartphone users, then it will inevitably result in a ranking penalty by Google. Because of this, we have seen an increase in the number of businesses who are requesting to redirect mobile users to separate mobile version of their site. Even this is an antiquated technique that will not only result in penalties from Google, but could also split your ranking between the two sites resulting in an even further decline in rankings. The best solution, and the one most recommended by Google is responsive design—a method that will allow for the desktop site to resize itself and meet the requirements of its mobile users.

SEO is a critical component for every brand’s digital presence. Your budget, blog post frequency, Facebook likes, and re-tweets may boost egos, but none of it matters if no one can find you. If your website does not employ responsive design, then it is not ready for mobile devices to take over the web, and you see a steady decline in Google’s search ranking and traffic.

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