With Google’s new Mobile-First index, mobile responsive web design is not just important, but necessary for an effective SEO strategy. But, the good news is that Google’s search strategy continues to model the growing demands of users, which means that their ongoing changes requires us to continually move our websites in a direction that is more relevant and meaningful to users. This means we may have to make changes to our SEO design—maybe just small tweaks, or perhaps major overhauls. And yet, Google’s quest for meaningful search makes it harder to bypass real content with tricks and gimmicks in order to achieve favorably rankings.
Here’s what we mean. For several years now Google has been shifting its emphasis toward a more mobile-centric model. Beginning in 2014, sites that were not mobile responsive would simply not rank in searches originating from mobile devices. This change didn’t affect desktop search at the time, but it did mean that as the percentage of search originating from mobile devices continued to increase, not being included in mobile search became a larger concern.
In mid 2015 the percentage of mobile search surpassed desktop. Today 65% of digital media is mobile, and that number is growing. In response to this trend Google is gradually elevating the importance of mobile website design, and its “Mobile-First Index” is the next move in that direction. Google has even indicated that in the near future they will move to just one index—a mobile index—meaning that Google simply won’t crawl sites that are not responsive, thus rendering mobile responsive design a mandatory feature. What this means for our clients and all who endeavor to create meaningful content, is that we will continue to evolve our website design and user experience in ways that serve our users on all devices.
In some ways, this change may seem daunting or cumbersome, but it also presents a new challenge in learning and discovering how we can provide a better online experience to those accessing our sites through mobile devices. And, it provides another opportunity to enhance our brand image by demonstrating our willingness and ability to provide (not just a meaningful web experience) but a valuable product or service as well. If your site is not yet fully mobile responsive, or you’re not sure, give us a call at 828-250-0970 and we’ll quickly assess it for you.