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In April 2015, search engine giant Google rolled out a landmark change to its search algorithm, meaning that quality, mobile-responsive websites are now placed at a significant advantage over non ‘mobile-friendly’ sites, when people search the internet.

The move towards responsive technology

The pace of technological change has grown exponentially since the birth of the first website, but it’s still possible to remember the days when websites were not much more than static displays, viewable only on desktop computers (usually with large, bulky monitors).

Nowadays, your website might be viewed on a variety of devices, including a mobile phone, a tablet, or a PC – and in any number of locations, including at work, at the airport, or – more controversially – at the dinner table, all depending on individual user preference.

Technology has responded to, and in turn fed, consumer demand for convenience and the ability to access information anywhere, anytime, at the press of a button.

However, sadly many websites have failed to keep up with the pace of change, meaning that accessing them can be a deeply frustrating experience for the end user.

The science bit: what is a responsive website?

A responsive website is a website that adapts to whichever device it is being viewed on, regardless of its size or shape. Responsive websites are designed with every kind of screen in mind, allowing the information to be viewed by the user in a way that is legible, logical and accessible. According to Tomorrow’s World, by now robots should be running much of the country. However, while not all of the BBC’s predictions necessarily came true, in the case of the internet this isn’t quite so far off. According to Googlebot, the ‘web crawling bot’ technology used by Google to index and rank content on the internet, the key factors that help to determine whether a website is deemed to be mobile-friendly include:

  • Avoids software that is not common on mobile devices
  • Uses text that is readable without zooming
  • Sizes content to the screen so users don't have to scroll horizontally or zoom
  • Places links far enough apart so that the correct one can be easily tapped

What the Google changes mean

Consequently, mobile-responsive websites are far more likely to have a better Google ranking and appear higher up the search results page than their non-responsive counterparts.

Websites that do not meet the criteria are, conversely, likely to fall further down the Google rankings, leading to fewer page views and fewer opportunities to reach out to customers and new prospects.

Future-proofing your website

With new devices constantly being introduced to the market, it makes sense to take a long-term view. Taking the responsive route allows you to ‘future-proof’ your website, so that whatever new-fangled devices may emerge, your clients can access the full features of your website and will have a positive, hassle-free user experience.

If you haven’t reviewed your website recently, now is the time to do so. Changing to a mobile-responsive website also has additional benefits, as there is no need to purchase and maintain a separate, stripped-down mobile website for mobile and tablet users.

Practice Track have many years’ experience of producing high quality, content-rich firm websites – all of which are automatically responsive. So there’s no need to fear the robots.

If you would like any further information on our website service, please contact our friendly and responsive team on 0117 932 7812.