Search Engine Optimization | 9.19.13
Nothing feels quite as great as being at the top of search rankings (at least in the online marketing world anyway). It’s a golden feeling knowing that you’re top dog, humdinger, and super all-star. It doesn’t get much better than this.
The key to reaching this privileged position is through SEO (search engine optimization), a process where your content is ranked based on its relevance. With so much web traffic passing through Google on mobile devices now, Google has made a stance on what it recommends for an ideal website and, ultimately, a better search ranking for you.
Google’s mobile SEO guidelines are based around creating an excellent, rich experience for the user. In addition, they want to make it as cost-effective and easy for them to crawl and index sites, thus, Google prefers responsive design to a separate mobile design.
Wait, what? Why? Well, responsive web design adjusts to any type of devices (desktop, mobile, tablet) and has one single URL across the board. So instead of having an m-dot site (m.mysite.com) for mobile and a t-dot site (t.mysite.com) for tablet, all devices can access the same URL (www.mysite.com) and the content will automatically adjust. And this is great for web masters who will only need to maintain one website, instead of three different ones.
Other than being the preferred version of Internet’s Captain General, responsive design works better because:
It Makes Sharing Easier
The whole reason for creating quality content is to trigger interest in a user and get them to share with others, extending your reach and authority on the web. The trouble with sharing on different sites is that if for example, someone shares the URL of a mobile website they found on Twitter from a mobile device, when a desktop user clicks on that link, the website might not look the same for him or her. This can stifle any interest or shareability immediately. And for those who jump from different devices (about 90% of users do this according to research from Google), different sites can create a less-than-optimal experience for users.
It Doesn’t Spread SEO Ranking
Getting that “top dog” position requires sites to build their rankings, not spread them out. For Google, if they crawl multiple domains for each device, all inbound links and authority are spread among those multiple places. As a result, this could put you through double or even triple duty to maintain multiple sites that are only half as an effective in terms of authority and ranking. Sheesh. In addition, since Google is essentially ranking or crawling one URL for your site, the ranking is more accurate, regardless of what device the content appears on.
It Doesn’t Cause Confusion or Irrelevancy
We don’t want to knock mobile dedicated sites totally out the water here and we’re not saying that mobile or tablet version sites won’t be found at all, they will, they just won’t have a huge chance of being ranked very high on mobile. Google recently said in this blog post that they plan on ranking sites lower if they’re problematic or loading irrelevant pages. Not only do Google bots have to work double duty crawling different versions of a website, hosting multiple domains invites the possibility of faulty web redirect links that could drive users insane.
When a user accesses your site on a mobile device, the link automatically redirects to the m-dot version of the site we mentioned earlier. The problem with this is that not all of pages may be “mobilized”. So, when a user clicks on a page that hasn’t been “mobilized,” they either get a 404 error page, a mobile version page of your homepage, or the desktop version of the page they clicked on, the latter being the least frustrating.
Multiple versions requires the clear organization of a webmaster to keep this from happening and it’s a tedious process that’s difficult to keep up with. For these reasons, many sites with different site versions neglect to fulfill these correct redirects, thus, penalizations happen.
For the sake of Google, search rankings, users, and your web developer, responsive web design might just be the ticket to keeping everyone happy and bring you one step closer to conquering the online world.
For more tips on how to climb the search ranking ladder, check out our introductory guide on mobile SEO.
About Small Screen Producer
Small Screen Producer is a full service, marketing firm located in Houston, Texas that specializes in online digital media marketing through a 4-step process. Step 1: WE PLAN a custom web presence strategy for your business through website design and development, mobile development, social media account creation and branding. STEP 2: We then POSITION your brand through Pay-Per-Click advertising and search engine optimize tactics that include on-page and off-page SEO that are Google and Bing approved. STEP 3: We then PROMOTE your brand using an Inbound marketing strategy or a content marketing strategy to help you accomplish your marketing goals. We do this through blogging, video production, infographics, call-to-actions, landing pages, and free educational offers. We help you build trust and rapport with your customer base. STEP 4: We then PROTECT your brand’s web presence with a reputation management program that monitors social media and on line reviews. Get started today with a free online marketing assessment of your company’s web presence. Your company deserves it.