SEO Revolution in 2016 – Responsive Design
For the third and final part of this series of blog posts I am going to focus on what is undoubtedly one of the most influential and logical changes to Google’s ranking factors this year and possibly in the whole history of Google itself.
It is impossible to ignore the fact that with the introduction of more sophisticated smart phones and tablets our browsing habits have changed significantly and dramatically. Admittedly the technology for this kind of browsing had already been in place for some years prior to this in the form of PDAs, Blackberries, older laptops with Wi-Fi cards and a number of other devices but I personally feel it is the advancements of the Android and IOS operating systems and the myriad of devices that they power that has created and facilitated the push from traditional desktop PCs and laptops to mobile devices being the most popular devices for browsing on the move and browsing the internet full stop.
Early Days of Mobile Browsing
When the first wave of smartphones were being introduced to the market I felt an initial rush of glee, similar to when a next generation gaming console launches, seeing the capabilities and possibilities of the new technology I felt actually excited by the prospect of seeing technology that I had seen in comic books, films and TV series as a child actually being realised and launched to domestic customers.
After the initial rush of excitement I soon started to feel the crushing reality, that aside from the media frenzy, these devices incorporated very similar components and systems that the aforementioned old laptops and PDAs used albeit in more presentable packaging.
At first it seemed as though my initial reservations were somewhat justified but as time went by these devices progressed and improved at a rapid rate to the point that I now use my smartphone notably much more than my old, trusted laptop which now enjoys life as a storage device, conduit for transferring data and a central media hub for my home entertainment.
How Google Assesses Mobile Compatibility
Although, on the surface, mobile compatibility is a simple concept for us as users to grasp the reality is that mobile compatibility serves a great number of different purposes aside from making large amounts of content and data presentable and accessible on the relatively small screen of a smart phone or tablet. Similar to the ranking factors that Google use to assess a webpage there are a number of different factors and criteria that Google use to assess whether the mobile version of a site is truly accessible and of value to a potential browser.
Below is a quick summary to help you understand the basics of whether a site is truly mobile compatible or not.
Layout is first and foremost essential for a browser’s user experience and in particular the legibility of bodies of text. This is important so that people who aren’t visually impaired can actually read the content without being hindered and also for people who suffer from partial or complete blindness who rely on software to read all the written content and audio descriptions aloud to them. In short, if a site is truly responsive, then all the text should fit into lines, paragraphs and columns similar to how any article would appear in printed format such as a newspaper, menu or brochure without any content being cut off, excluded or omitted.
Contact Details are also an important factor. With mobile phones and tablets having the facility to call and email people it makes sense that all contact details such as phone and fax numbers and email addresses should be able to be instantly accessed and reached when browsing.
Page Loading Times may sound very dry and technical but in reality what is the point in having an all singing and dancing mobile site which is
2.accessible anywhere you can take your mobile device
if it takes somewhere close to a millennia to actually load up? Google assess this quickly and easily by taking into account the quality of your coding and the file size of your images and other embedded media on each page of your site.
This concludes my series of blog posts for what I believe has been a truly revolutionary year in SEO. I hope you’ve enjoyed my take on some of the pivotal changes introduced this year and if you’ve missed the other two parts why not check them and some of our other articles on the Blog section of our site.
Article written by
Tim Smith – SEO Consultant