GOOGLE: Rewarding UX design
As of 21st April 2015 Google introduced a new ‘mobile friendly’ algorithm that essentially rewards responsive design and penalises sites which it deems not to be ‘mobile friendly’. In a blog post on 26 February this year Google said “We will be expanding our use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal. This change will affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide and will have a significant impact in our search results.” Essentially, if your site is deemed to be mobile friendly your ranking will remain as is. If however it does not pass Google’s test for mobile friendliness, your SEO ranking for mobile searches will go down, making it more difficult for customers to find you.
Algorithms, mobile-friendly, responsive design… what does it all mean? Put simply, an algorithm is a ‘procedure or formula for solving a problem’ and let’s just say, Google has some pretty sophisticated ones. Google relies on this range of algorithms to provide the most relevant search results for users. The introduction of this new algorithm, will add a new dimension, that of device compatibility, when determining what are ‘relevant results’. The formula, taking into account both content and design, will assess whether your site is mobile friendly or not and adjust your ranking accordingly. Though this change will initially only impact on your mobile search rankings, it remains to be seen if it will soon filter through to desktop.