Say It Ain’t So… A Google Mobile Site Speed Penalty?

Get the “Mo” in SoLoMo ready because Google is yet again ready to change rankings of mobile search results. Isn’t it shocking how many updates are rolling out this summer? Don’t hold your breath because more are expected before the season is over.

Google’s Hints
While it hasn’t always seemed official/explicit, it looks like mobile site speed will be an important factor in Google search rankings on smartphones. For some time now, Google has been urging webmasters to prepare for this change. Although sites won’t be out right penalized for slow mobile sites, they may face a demotion in rankings and that’s never a good thing. Will this mean that SEOs will soon have two things on their plate: desktop and mobile SERPs?

Along with slow mobile site load time, Google is also looking to crack down on typical mobile mistakes that webmasters might make. For example, forwarding landing pages to the mobile home page instead of mobile versions of that specific page. Also using a lot of Flash video since it’s not viewable on iPhones or phones that use Android 4.1+. Take a more in-depth look at what Google has to say about mobile ranking factors from the latest post on the Official Google Webmaster Central Blog.

To Be Responsive or Not?
Responsive design
sounds like the way to go to take care of most of these problems. Unfortunately, depending on the size of your site and resources available, it might not be so easy to get a mobile responsive site up and running. Quality control and consistency is also important for responsive web pages as you want a seamless browsing experience. If you’re not ready or willing to fully commit to a responsive website, it might not be time just yet to go that route. But remember, the longer you wait, the sooner you might be forced to face Google’s mobile search ranking factors.

Find Out What’s Best for Your Site
Is your website mobile friendly? How many people are actually coming to your site via a mobile device. Some business owners might be surprised to find out that there are more visitors coming to the mobile version of their site than the normal, desktop version. If this is the case, it’s all the more reason to invest more into an efficient mobile site. If you’re looking for input or alternatives, it’s helpful to know that there isn’t a “right” answer for all websites. It’s arguable that for some industries, like e-commerce, responsive web design could actually hurt the user experience. Contact us today and let us know any questions you might have. We’re here to help!

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