On April 21, 2015, Google announced changes to their search algorithms that left people in a state of uncertainty and confusion over the future of their search-engine security.
These changes, while extremely intimidating, would be a step toward a future that embraces the popularity of smartphones and tablets and would favor the websites that were mobile responsive. Even with the ample amount of time to make the necessary changes, companies were still scared they would be left behind.
While many continued to feel that these changes were an attack from Google, they failed to realize the changes were made as a way to better serve search engine users. The number of people who search the web on mobile devices is steadily increasing, so insuring the Google experience stayed positive needed to be a priority for the digital minds behind these algorithms.
Let us lay out the numbers for you:
It is estimated that over one billion people in the world use mobile devices.
75% of people in the United States use smartphones to talk, shop and browse the web.
By 2018, the number of tablet users is expected to grow to a staggering 1.4 billion.3>
Google could not just ignore these numbers, instead they decided to lead the pack in making changes to keep the mobile experience as friendly as possible. The question still stands though, what do “mobile friendly” and “mobile responsive” mean, and are they the same concept?
One might think these terms can be used interchangeably, but there is actually a pretty significant difference. As a rule, a mobile responsive website will always be mobile friendly, but a mobile friendly website may not necessarily be mobile responsive.
So what are the differences?
A mobile friendly site will look the same regardless of the device it is being viewed on. The site will work well, but users might find some difficulties when it comes to exploring everything the site has to offer.
A mobile responsive site is the best site. The features will be optimized for each specific device and will appear slightly different so the user’s experience is exceptional even if their screen is small.
So which option is Google approved?
As the leader in the mobile world, Google definitely favors mobile responsive sites. Don’t worry though, Google recommends that companies create mobile responsive websites because they are easier to use and require less engineering and maintenance. This means these changes will make your company’s life a little easier, once you have made the transition.
Mobile responsiveness is not going anywhere, in May 2016, Google announced more updates to their algorithms which placed an even higher emphasis on the sites that have complied with their changes.
Technology is constantly growing, so it is more important than ever to stay current. Virtual Media Group can make your transition into this new world easier. Contact us today to get started on your mobile responsive web design.