What is mobile responsiveness?

A mobile responsive website makes viewing on any phone, tablet, or other device easy by automatically moving content, images, and other site elements to fit into the screen.

How do I know if my website is mobile responsive?

Google has provided a tool which will test your website for mobile responsiveness.

Check Your Website Here!

Why do I need to make my website mobile responsive?

Mobile responsiveness will affect your website’s search engine rankings.  Mobile responsive sites will be valued higher than sites which aren’t responsive.  Going forward, Google will also give a completely different set of search results for people on mobile devices.  If your website is not mobile responsive, then it may not be included in the mobile results.  Because half of the internet’s traffic is mobile, if your site is not on the mobile index you could potentially lose half of the traffic you receive from Google.

But my web guy said he has a solution to address this mobile issue thing, how can I check?

Unfortunately, if your website doesn’t pass this test, then it is not responsive.  Whether or not your website or your web developer’s other clients are currently ranking well is not relevant, because the update hasn’t occurred yet!

I have a mobile version of my website, does that count as responsive?

No.  In basic terms, responsive websites use a design which reformats the website in real time according to the device and screen on which it’s being viewed, so that it can be viewed optimally on any device or screen.  Mobile versions of websites are completely separate website versions which usually have a stripped down design and truncated content to make them easy to use on mobile devices.

I recently redesigned or rebuilt my website, shouldn’t my web developer have built it to be mobile responsive?

Google announced in February 2015 that responsive design would become a ranking factor starting on April 21, 2015.  Prior to that, no web developer could have predicted Google would choose to include responsive design in their ranking factors or to implement a separate mobile index. Google updates are typically not announced until after they’re actually rolled out.  In fact, Google is quite secretive about these things. Having advance notice in this case is a great courtesy by Google.  Most experts are interpreting the advance notice to mean that the changes are going to be large, significant, and affecting many websites. Fortunately, Google has provided a clear pathway to success on this issue - make your website responsive.

Should I turn-off the mobile version of my website and create one responsive website?

A responsive design is Google’s recommended solution.  See more here http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com/2012/06/recommendations-for-building-smartphone.html. With online competition being so thick you should use all available tools and information to comply with Google guidelines whenever possible. Keep your mobile site live while you work to implement a responsive design.

Why is a mobile responsive site important for my business?

In short, half of the internet’s traffic is mobile.  Early in 2014 mobile usage accounted for 48% of Google’s usage and searches.  In November 2014, mobile searches and usage time on Google actually exceeded PC for the first time.  This is not surprising since other studies have shown that 52% of internet users prefer a smartphone or tablet as their preferred method of internet usage.  Other reports suggest as much as 60% of internet usage has been mobile since early 2014:

More Info

Responsive Web Design

It's not only about adjustable screen resolutions and automatically resizable images, but rather about a whole new way of thinking about design.

More statistics on the mobile takeover:


What if my website is not mobile responsive?

You can lose rankings and traffic.  Considering the mobile usage breakthrough, Google has announced that a completely separate index (a separate set of search engine results) will be implemented for mobile users in the near future.  This means mobile users receive different results than desktop users.  Websites which are mobile responsive will receive indexing preference in Google’s mobile search results, non-responsive won’t.  With over half of internet usage coming from mobile devices, responsive design is a must-have for websites going forward.

A worst-case scenario could be that a website is not indexed on Google’s upcoming mobile index due to a non-responsive design.  The exact impact of the update can’t be measured until it the update takes place.  As with some updates, it may requires time to take full effect.

How long does it take to make my existing website responsive, and how much will it cost?

The time and cost to update your website to a responsive design will vary depending on the size of your website, the design of your website, and other elements used in your website.

Why is Google making this update?

Google is responding to the growing amounts of internet usage occurring on mobile devices.  Just recently, mobile internet usage surpassed desktop and laptop computer usage.  In other words, more people are using their phones to use the web than computers.  As a result, Google wants to give those people the best user experience by providing search engine results containing websites which will be easy to use on their phones.  Therefore, Google plans to reward responsive websites with a ranking bonus for being responsive, and a ranking penalty for not being responsive.

Will this update affect all search engine results, even for people not on phones or mobile devices?

This update is designed to affect searches done on mobile devices.  Google may choose to factor responsiveness into all searches, but at this time it’s understood to only affect mobile searches

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