In the past we have written about responsive web design (RWD) and now with a recent hint from Google, it looks like the importance of using RWD may be getting greater. With 100s of different tablets and other devices used for browsing the web these days it is essential that your website is built to cope with the different screen sizes, resolutions and browsers. If your site is not optimised for these different devices, then it’s not going to look good for Google when your site shows up in the search results on a tablet device.
Google has said that they want to provide a good user experience, and users will not benefit from a site that doesn’t cater for the device they are using, even if the relevant content is there. Although it has not been officially announced, it looks like Google will be taking measures in the near future to keep your site from showing up if it has not been optimised.
Google has suggested that using responsive design is the best way to ensure that your site looks good across many devices. Google has not said that it will actually help you in search rankings, but considering Google’s emphasis on the importance of user experience, and the fact that they are even suggesting it, seems to indicate to us that this is something they’re paying attention to.
Google has said…
“When considering your site’s visitors using tablets, it’s important to think about both the devices and what users expect, say Google’s Pierre Far and Scott Main in a joint blog post. “Compared to smartphones, tablets have larger touch screens and are typically used on Wi-Fi connections. Tablets offer a browsing experience that can be as rich as any desktop or laptop machine, in a more mobile, lightweight, and generally more convenient package. This means that, unless you offer tablet-optimized content, users expect to see your desktop site rather than your site’s smartphone site.”
“Our recommendation for smartphone-optimized sites is to use responsive web design, which means you have one site to serve all devices,” they write. “If your website uses responsive web design as recommended, be sure to test your website on a variety of tablets to make sure it serves them well too. Remember, just like for smartphones, there are a variety of device sizes and screen resolutions to test.”