Been too busy to consider upgrading your site? That’s understandable, but a material change in the way Google operates this month ought to grab your attention.
The goliath of all things online just began rolling out a major update to its ranking algorithm focused on mobile devices. When smartphone users search for sites like yours, those that are mobile-friendly will now receive far greater priority over those that are not.
What does “mobile-friendly” mean?
In functional terms, Google says sites must meet these criteria on smartphones:
- Text legible without tapping and zooming
- Links spaced out appropriately
- No unplayable content or horizontal scrolling
(To see how your site stacks up, take Google’s simple test.)
In practical terms, there are several types of mobile-friendly sites:
- Mobile-specific – Alternate site seen only on mobile devices
- Adaptive – Optimizes the presentation for certain devices
- Responsive – Dynamically adjusts the presentation for a broad range of screen sizes
The first two approaches have their problems, although adaptive websites are certainly an economical option for businesses that can get by with a relatively short-term solution.
Responsive design is the best way to future-proof your website as smartphones come in an ever-growing variety of shapes and sizes.
Check out some of SPINE’s responsive and adaptive web design work: