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Google’s Mobile-Friendly Label and the Era of Responsive Design

Finally, all of our hard work spent convincing clients to opt for a responsive website has been justified. Last month, Google announced that it will be rewarding sites that render properly on a mobile device with a ”mobile-friendly” label listed directly in the search results.

While Google isn’t releasing the exact requirements to achieve the mobile-friendly tag, there are few factors we can guess. The first is that the website isn’t using flash, which is, of course, incompatible with Apple’s mobile devices. Additionally, if the site is readable without zooming and there’s no horizontal scroll bar, Google will be more inclined to add the mobile-friendly tag.

But the ultimate mark of a mobile-friendly website will be if it is responsive. A responsive website, for those who don’t know, will change its layout based on the screen size of the viewing device. (Try collapsing this window, if you’re using a desktop, to see what we mean.)

While designing and developing a responsive website does take more time and effort, the result is far superior to the norm, since users won’t have to zoom to read text or fumble with a wonky layout that wasn’t meant for a mobile device. The need for a separate, mobile website is also avoided, meaning admins won’t have to update two separate websites.

The benefit here is clear: A callout on your search listing declaring that your website is mobile-friendly will likely translate to increased page ranking. That’s right, you will be rewarded by being ranked higher if you have a responsive site! Seems like a no brainer, doesn’t it?

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