Okay, so maybe it’s not as scary as it sounds. No computers are going to blow up, humanity isn’t enslaved, and most likely you got to work without major issues. But the more realistic truth is that something major has indeed happened in the internet world, and it most likely affects you and your business, in some way.
Today, April 21, 2015, marks the day when Google rolls(ed) out it’s newest algorithm, which does more to target how your website is ranked in search results. It might not sound like anything new, but it might impact you more than you realize.
Now that Responsive design (read this article for more information) is more popular, and over 75% of website visitors do so on a mobile device of some kind, Google has decided to reward those who have embraced the new technology. If you have a website that is Responsive, then you have have nothing* to worry about. Google is going to give you a thumbs up and let you keep on working. If you don’t however, you might see a drop-off in visitor traffic.
The new algorithm will now give more importance to Responsive websites and mobile specific websites, so visitors aren’t stuck trying to navigate a site pinching and zooming, or becoming annoyed with sites that don’t work at all. And if you have a flash based website, you can probably forget about your mobile ranking, period.
So how can you fix this problem?
Well lucky for you, the answer is pretty easy (although it might not be cheap, depending on where you are). The end goal of this is to encourage all website owners to optimize their content for smartphone and tablet devices. We live in a world where the internet is available at the tip of your fingers, and they simply want to make it easier for everyone. Pretty much every website can be retrofitted into a Responsive design with CSS, but it can be costly if your site structure is old, so you may want to talk to your web developer in length before making a decision. You can also create a mobile specific website (that would something like m.domain.com), but just be aware that might not be enough to make you pass the grade. I’ve seen at least two websites of my own so far that had mobile versions fail.
If it’s been a while since you updated or refreshed your website design, this could be a good opportunity to invest in a new one and get that old code cleaned up. If you just recently entered into the Responsive design world, you can check your status with a tool that Google has provided**. It will help ensure your stuff is up to snuff. I also recommend using Google Webmaster Tools to make sure you are utilizing your site to the best of your ability.
Responsive design can be a little intimidating if you don’t know what it is, but it doesn’t need to be. Like everything else, it’s a tool that can be utilized to make your site more accessible to more people, and in the end, that’s really what you want.
If you have questions about Responsive design, feel free to drop me a comment below, or send me a message on the contact page. And if you need someone to help covert your site, I can always help with that as well.
*I say nothing, but I really mean you have almost nothing. It’s always a good idea to double check where your website stands instead of assuming.
**test your site here: https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/mobile-friendly/
Creative thinking and development are just a part of what makes James tick. When he's not working on a project for a client, he's usually working on a project for himself. When he's not doing that he can be found snowboarding, hiking, or enjoying a broadway show with his wife.