Is Mobile Responsiveness a Google Ranking Factor and How Does It Affect SEO


The folks at Google are known for keeping the public on their toes, and they do an impressive job at changing their algorithm a lot each year. Although many of these are minor changes largely unnoticed by most people, it appears that each year or so, the giant of search engines changes the optimization rules for search engines more extensively.

We’ve seen many changes to how Google suggests companies take a look at search engine marketing; however, in the last couple of years, the changes have been heavily weighted towards appealing to mobile consumers. Although the debate has been in the air for a while and then was brought to the forefront this year when Google decided that mobile website speed would impact a website’s ability to be found on search engines.

Many businesses wonder, “Is mobile responsiveness officially a ranking factor?”. Although Google prefers to keep an opacity regarding ranking factors, here’s what we know about responsiveness on mobile and SEO.

What Is All the Fuss About Responsive Design?

You know the distinction between desktop and mobile versions regarding web design. What’s the buzz about responsive design? And what is the difference between mobile optimized? Responsive design is a website style that automatically adapts to the screen and device size the user is using. In other words, responsive design allows people to access your site’s desktop version initially and then a mobile version later while maintaining a consistent design and experience for the user.

Mobile responsiveness has been vital since 2018; more than half of the world’s internet traffic comes via mobile devices, an increase that has increased significantly since 2015. It’s evident that we’re moving towards a point where the vast majority of traffic to the internet will be mobile-based, and it’s essential to adapt to this change today rather than trying to catch ahead in the future.

However, with only 50% of your traffic generated by mobile devices, what happens to your remaining 40 percent? Many of your customers are trying to reach you through their computers, and many users are switching between. Nowadays, smart SEM ensures you reach out to everyone, regardless of the location from which they’re coming.

So, What Does Google Think?

Google is a fan of rewarding websites that invest in mobile-optimized development of their websites. Recent algorithm adjustments have been introduced to reward companies with mobile-friendly websites, particularly those that have optimized their websites to meet the expectations of the speed of a modern-day consumer.

While Google will crawl mobile sites first and reward sites that load fast, they’ve attempted to say that what kind of mobile site you’re using doesn’t matter. That means, technically, mobile responsiveness isn’t an essential ranking factor. However, before going out into the night on your mobile website, you must know that responsive design will be Google’s preferred design pattern.

Confused? Frustrated? You don’t need to be. The best thing you can do is comprehend why mobile responsiveness is essential to Google and discover how responsive design makes everything simple.

The Story Behind Mobile First Indexing

You’d have to live under the surface of a mountain not to have had a chance to hear about mobile-first indexing in the game’s current state. The basic idea behind the mobile-first indexing method is Google prioritizing mobile websites. This means that Google will first crawl through and then index mobile versions of the website before it can get ready to do similar things for a desktop version. This doesn’t mean desktop versions won’t be indexed, but it does mean that they’re far enough in the rankings that if you’re only running a desktop-based online site, it’s best to give up the lead generation and visibility goodbye.

It is safe to assume this initiative is designed to improve the UX (UX) for the increasing number of mobile-based users. Be sure this isn’t an attempt to penalize companies just beginning to establish their position in the digital realm. Instead, point companies in the direction they’ll need to take should they genuinely want to be successful on the internet.

You cannot gain the benefits of mobile-first indexing without having a mobile website. For companies of all sizes, responsiveness to mobile devices on the web is essential for SEO, even if it’s not an independent ranking factor.

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