Web design has been flipped on it's head over the past few years. Just a few years ago you designed web sites for how they would look on the desktop. But it's a mobile world and mobile websites aren't just niche, they're mainstream.
There's been a paradigm shift over the past few years and it's called Mobile First Responsive Web Design. This means that when you design a website, you design first for mobile devices, and then for laptops and desktops. It's a 180 degree turn around from how it was a few short years ago, and there are consequences if you don't follow suite!
If you thought that you might think of upgrading your website in the next few year, you might actually like to reconsider that decision with Google modifying it's search algorithm to favour those sites that are already mobile friendly. If it's not mobile friendly it will be demoted further down the list.
What does mobile-friendly really mean?
You could easily fall into the trap to think that if my site has been developed to be responsive, it's then mobile-friendly. Well, that's just part of the story as far as Google is concerned. There are other criteria that it will use to assess how mobile-friendly your site really is. These include:
- Too many large images
- Content that won't play on mobile devices - eg videos
- Large web pages that take ages to load (poorly optimised for mobile viewing)
If you think the position by Google is tough, you need to consider the following:
- Since the advent of smartphones the amount of time spent online is estimated to have doubled
- The number of smartphones users worldwide is expected to reach 2 billion in 2015
That in a nutshell is why you might (will!) soon be demoted by Google, and that's why you need to make your site mobile friendly using Responsive Web Design.
How do I know if my website is mobile friendly?
There is an easy way to check if your site is considered by Google to be mobile firendly. You can check your site out now by going to Google's Mobile-Friendly test page.