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Why from today a non-mobile friendly website will hurt your SEO

21st April 2015

You may have heard that Google is now taking a new metric into account when delivering search results; this is part of what’s known as SEO (search engine optimisation). Google now favours ‘responsive’ websites due to them having one URL and being mobile friendly rather than having a separate mobile site. The new additions to it's search algorithm have been dubbed '#Mobilegeddon' on social media.

There are a few reasons why Google has added in this metric, but the main one is that a responsive site creates a far better user experience for the end user. It means that whether you look at the website on a desktop PC, a laptop, a tablet or a smartphone it has a consistent design theme and the same content replicated. The website moulds and changes to fit the device you look at it on. It reduces duplicated content on the website which is good for SEO and a single URL also benefits the loading speed of a website because no redirection is needed.

Mobile (tablet and smartphone) web traffic is set to eclipse PC traffic this year and with the evolution of devices like smart watches and glasses, this will only increase in the future. According to Google data 61% of visitors will return to Google search if a website is not mobile friendly and in addition to this, 71% of mobile users leave after waiting for 5 seconds for a page to load. For every visitor who leaves a website, the bounce rate will increase.

It’s also been observed that rankings on a mobile search are correlated to your bounce rate. If your site does not work well on mobile, you be penalised by Google and your ranking on mobile searches may drop. Over the past few months, Google has also been showing the end user whether a website is mobile friendly from within mobile search results (see below).

Part of the responsive criteria that Google tests a site with are:

  • A website that uses modern standards of website code and avoid utilising software which is not available on some devices (like flash)
  • A website whose text is readable without zooming in
  • A website whose size adapts to the size of the device it is viewed on so that users don’t have to scroll horizontally
  • A website that places links far enough apart so that the correct links can be easily accessed on a small touch screen without tapping the wrong link

If you’d like to find out more about responsive websites, get in touch with our web team today on 0845 094 6108 or via email at [email protected]