Websites: Mobile Friendly, Google Friendly, Responsive – What Does It All Mean?
Site Looks Good! We're Done, Right?
A website can be designed and laid out properly, have a great look and feel, look professional and entirely user-friendly, all while it is a complete and utter mess behind the scenes as Googlebot will see it. Why does Googlebot see it differently? Because Googlebot is always looking for more and better clues as to what keywords are most relevant to your site. Google is all about relevance. Google has a team of quality control people who actually look at the sites to ensure every search conducted in their engine produces relevant results.
Relevance + Speed = $$$$$$$
Why is relevancy so important to Google? One reason, money. When people get relevant results, they come back. Very simple. When they come back, they see ads. If the content is highly relevant to the search you conducted, and the ads that Google feeds you on their results page are highly relevant to the search, then the ads get more clicks. Clicks are money in the Google world. More clicks are more money. Everyone is a Google customer. People who search in Google may generate a click, which in a secondary way, is them paying Google. They're paying with other people's money, but they're paying. The businesses who buy ads in Google are obviously customers since it is their money you just gave to Google.
Quantity + Quality = SUCCESS!
Google became popular because it produced relevant results FAST! Let me restate this. Relevance and speed are what made Google one of the most valuable businesses of all time. The way you produce relevant results quickly is entirely due to the fact that Googlebot interpreted the web pages well and stored the content in an efficient fashion on their data warehouse servers. A horrible optimized site looks the same to you, the browser, but looks entirely different to Googlebot. I constructed two web pages for this article. One is poorly optimized, one is highly optimized. They look the same to you, me and the browsers, but they look completely different to Googlebot.
Help the Almighty Googlebot & He Will Reward You Handsomely!
Now imagine this, Googlebot comes to your house and follows the walls and corridors, basically takes its own tour of your house then leaves and goes back to Google headquarters and tells them about your house. That is if he can find a Google employee that is not busy playing on the indoor slide, getting a massage or eating one of three gourmet meals a day. GB reports that the walls were brown, with white trim. He explains that there were pictures hanging on walls by Picasa and the dimensions of each room, and a slew, let's say hundreds of lines of highly technical descriptive details. Now imagine that you took Googlebot on the tour of your house. You explain to him that the first picture is a picture of your ancestor, Captain John Harkness, who served honorably in the battle of Torchwood and died during the battle and is buried under an apple tree near Cardiff. Oh, here GB, I have a manuscript from a historical archive over here. Did you open this chest and look around. Well, here you go, have at it. GB returns to Google HQ and updates the information with all these historical facts. Later that day your long lost relative calls you from England to explain that you were owed a million dollars from and old estate sale from said ancestor. You ask how he found you and he explains, "Google! I searched Google for Captain John Harkness and you popped up." The moral of that story is that if you help Googlebot he will reward you handsomely.
Google Wants you to succeed!
The best thing about Google is that it desires relevant searches, so it is more than happy to tell you how to do it. The tools provided by Google help you build a Google-friendly website, how to build a proper site map, how to optimize your pages in the meta tags, which is a soft submission submission that meta tags are still relevant and a slew of other things to help you get your site ranked where it is relevant. When you conduct a search in Google, it tells you what else is pertinent, and more pertinent, to the search you conducted. Use this as a way to plan your search engine strategy. Google provides a tool called Google Webmaster, which tells you if your site is optimized, functioning properly, has a valid site map, and so much more. Simply using Google as a tool in the above two ways, you will see a dramatic climbing in the ranks.
Google Has Told Us How to go Mobile
Google has been screaming at web developers explaining how to properly build websites so that they will conform to Google's' rules and rank more highly, or even just to keep existing rankings. Surprisingly, many online marketing professionals ignored Google and proceeded with practices such as redirecting all mobile device queries to their home page. To worsen the situation, there are alleged consultants who have not informed their existing clients that their mobile sites are not acceptable and even stand the risk of their already well-positioned websites being removed from the Google directory.
The most common mistake I witness and the first one mentioned in Google Webmaster, "Your desktop site's server is configured to redirect smartphone users to the smartphone site's homepage, regardless of which URL they originally requested, even if the mobile site has the equivalent page to the redirecting desktop page. " This mistake looks to be spam in Google and can you, the reader, tell me why? We covered this earlier. When a web browser searches for a particular product, say a baby crib and they get a particular page in the Google results which is the actual product for which the browser searched, then the site redirects the browser to the mobile sites homepage, what did we lose? One of the two things we said made Google. We lost relevancy! The end page in the redirect makes it appear as though Google did not return relevant results, does not it? The answer, of course, is YES it does.
Google webmaster continues, "We recommend that you configure the redirection correctly if you do have an equivalent smartphone URL so that users end up on the page they were looking for." In other words, "Keep it relevant!" Where have we heard that before? There is only one way to conform to Google's mandate and it is called a responsive website. Why is it called responsive? Because it responds to its "surroundings". Simply go to the website and change the size of your window all the way down to what might look like the size of a typical cell phone. You will notice that the website responded to the size of the window. This means that if you add pages, since the site is also dynamic, or if you have a storefront with thousands of products, the shell of the site ensures that every page in the website is mobile friendly. This required no redirects. Source: More common mistakes.
We're Google & Mobile Friendly – Now What?
Now that we have discussed the basics of Mobile and Google-friendly websites we will dive into dynamic websites that are easy for business owners to manage on their own, email list management, loyalty systems and tying it all into your social marketing campaigns.