Almost every year, in one of the most important decisions of the year for marketers, Google makes changes to their search engine set of algorithms. Last year, they focused on improving quality by changing the rankings to favor those who used a specific style of writing that was deemed to be higher quality than other types of writing. This year, they seemed to be sending a message that they will be making changes to reward those whose sites are enabled to cater to mobile visitors more.
The idea is that as Google changes the formulas that underpin the ranking system, people will get the idea that the perspective on quality has changed- and make changes to their sites to bring the bulk of the sites in compliance with mobile usability quality standards. The outcome should be a similar or higher ranking than you have today.
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Responsive Design Remains Hot
One of the best ways to design a site so that it can handle both normal web pages and mobile pages simultaneously is to use responsive design, a way of building webpages that allows them to shrink and scale without loosing functionality. A majority of commercial websites are now running on responsive design templates. If they aren’t, they are still developing two sites and serving the appropriate page to whatever type of visitor device is identified by the webserver.
Going beyond Responsive
From SEO link building to designing mobile friendly websites, Stodgy Internet Marketing is an example of a company that is able to take responsive design and make it even better by correcting some of the traditional problems that responsive design templates tend to have, like forgetting to include the same level of support surrounding the functionality on the mobile side. Another area where responsive can fall down is when you want to make design changes into the template that feature larger photos.
Timeliness is Next to Change
The timing of your changes is also important when you audit and then create and roll things out to maximize your mobile-friendliness. During last year’s changeover, several sites lost their high ranking and plummeted pretty far, costing the owners some money to make changes as quickly as possible and then work their way back upwards. The important thing to remember is that when a change does occur, if you were not prepared in advance and your site drops down in the rankings, then making changes to your site will instantly bring your old ranking back. In many ways you need to start over.
Overall, most sites have some mobile optimization already built into them. Focusing on enhancing the mobile side of that equation will help you drive traffic and potentially increase your search engine ranking later this year.