If Google says it, it's gospel. Its pronouncements affect every Web designer, developer, marketer, and anyone else who relies on creating websites for a living. And the omnipotent search engine recently announced its latest law.
"Starting April 21, we will be expanding our use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal," states the Google Webmaster Central blog.
"This change will affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide and will have a significant impact in our search results."
On the surface, this change may seem like cause for concern, but it's actually an opportunity. This is the perfect time to approach your clients, explain what is going on, and upsell them on a comprehensive solution. It's a complete win-win. But what solution? From a technical standpoint, what will cut the mobile-friendly mustard and what won't?
Google supports three main ways to build mobile-friendly websites:
- Traditional responsive Web design
- Dynamic serving
- Separate mobile site (usually m.domain)
However, just selecting from these three site-building methods is not enough to necessarily pass Google's Mobile-Friendly Test. You may create a completely responsive website… and still be dropped from mobile search. That goes for the other two choices as well.
When building new sites for clients or updating their current Web presence to get in line with Google's mobile-friendly standards, take into account all the new technical and UX criteria. As Google itself clarified in a recent interview, there are no degrees of mobile-friendliness.
A Web page either passes the mobile sniff test... or it doesn't.