August 05, 2014

Not Mobile Friendly? Google Knows

You've probably heard lots of ways to get your content ranked higher in Google's search results — the Holy Grail of increasing traffic to your site. But now comes word that your entire site can be demoted if it's not mobile friendly.

According to the digital agency Brightlabs, Google has announced changes to its search algorithm that will gauge whether your site is mobile-friendly, and if it isn't, it will demote it in relevant searches.

Yikes. Can they do that?

Yep. You'll be demoted if your site isn't mobile friendly. There are certain things that Google looks for in making this determination. They include:

  • Videos that don’t play in certain devices … usually because they're in Flash. Google recommends using HTML5 to display multimedia instead of Flash, which is not supported by all mobile devices.
  • Faulty redirecting. This means you're directing users to a mobile version of your site’s homepage regardless of what page they want to access, even if the mobile site has the equivalent page to the redirecting desktop page.
  • Slowness. Google hates pages that are not optimized and load too slowly.
  • Using responsive web design. Being responsive means you're serving up the same data to all users, regardless of what device they're using, and Google loves this. If you're using the GeorgiaGov platform for your website, we've already done this for you.

So get rid of those fancy Flash animations and brochures. Cut down the size of your images and content to make pages load faster. And stop trying to make 2 different websites for mobile and desktop users; get responsive.

Go. You have work to do. Google is watching, you know…

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