Highlighting mobile friendly website – Google’s new search experiment

Google has started testing with a new mobile friendly icon in search result from 30th September. They were displaying a small green “mobile friendly icon” along with search result for mobile friendly websites when users search from Mobile device. It helps users to know whether they will be able to access the website properly or not from their mobile devices? They again changed the method on October 13. Instead of showing mobile friendly website; they were now highlighting the website which are not mobile friendly via “non-mobile friendly icon” – gray cell phone with lines through them. They again changed the methodology next day by notifying users about mobile friendly site by the words “Mobile-friendly” in gray along with the website URL.

Google is testing with different notification techniques and its effect on the user behavior. They have not announced any big shift in the mobile search algorithm yet, but separating mobile friendly websites from the desktop websites in a search result is clearly showing the need of having a Mobile friendly website design. 91% adults in the USA own the mobile phone, 61% of those have smart phones. 25% of adults in USA use only mobile phones to access the Internet. One third of all search clicks go through the organic search result, so organic results are even more important nowadays. All these statistics show the importance of organic search result and specifically the significance of Mobile devices in this very competitive age of Internet marketing.

If you have a website which is not Mobile friendly, it’s time for you to think over your Internet marketing strategy. Mobile friendly website could be the key for the online success while Google is likely to prefer mobile friendly website. There are two options for webmasters to make website mobile friendly. One is to have a website which is designed and developed specially for the mobile devices (i.e. m. Sites) and another option is to have a Responsive Website Design. Let’s take a quick look over the key features of both the mobile websites and Responsive website design.

Key features of separate mobile sites
  • The separate mobile website offers more custom experience to the users as its primary function is specific to an application or action.
  • You can add custom features, or advertising banners on mobile sites, which is not allowed in Responsive websites.
  • Separate mobile websites can be optimized according to the need of the mobile users.
  • It provides best users experience in all mobile devices. You can also make adjustments in codes to make the website run well on specific device as you will be having all different set of codes than the desktop version of the website.
  • Optimized coding and content helps to get better search visibility when it comes to mobile search ranking.
Features of the responsive website design
  • Responsive websites are flexible for both small and big screens. You don’t need to have two different domains for desktop and mobile version of the website.
  • It is more preferred by the Google for easy crawling. It has only one URL and the same set of HTML codes irrespective of the device that makes it easy for Google to crawl, index and organize the content.
  • Responsive website offers easy sharing options to users and provides the same user experience in both desktop and mobile devices.
  • Content presentation and organization becomes easy with responsive websites. If you have a heavy content based website you don’t need to write content for the mobile version if you have Responsive website.
  • The most important feature of having a responsive website is that it is easy to manage and update.

Though Google has not confirmed any update in the mobile search result algorithm; It is clear that having a website which is mobile friendly will be must in next few years. If you are still thinking of transforming your current website; it is the right time. Take a right choice between Responsive design vs. Mobile site to make the most use of the opportunity generated by the mobile search results.

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