Does Responsive Design Impact Your Search Engine Rank

Rajesh Rajaram, TM Editor, Oct 19,2017 Breaking up with your site's design.

Responsive design is a relatively new concept, but it has been a hot topic of conversation in recent years. Five years ago, the idea of responsive design was basically non-existent, because people mainly used computers to access the internet. Now that smartphones and tablets are popular devices for internet usage, website designers need to consider how the site looks on the smaller screens.

What is Responsive Web Design?

Designing a website with a responsive interface means that certain programming techniques are used to allow the website to be easily adapted to any size of screen. It doesn’t matter if a customer is viewing the website on a big computer screen or their small cell phone screen, the website content can still be easily accessed on any platform.

When a site is designed in a responsive way, the content is rendered to match the requirements of the screen. This change in layout makes it easier for the customer to view, navigate, and read the website.

Non-Responsive Websites are Penalized

If you are stuck in the past with a non-responsive website, then it means that your site is being penalized in the Google search results. Google made an announcement earlier this year that they were increasing the importance of website mobile-friendliness in search results, and these changes had a drastic impact on the effectiveness of website ranking. This algorithm update was so important that Google actually announced the update before it occurred. Typically, algorithm changes aren’t announced publically before they are launched.

Google bots look at the responsiveness of your website, and this feature plays a role in how your website will rank in the search engines. Google wants to be sure that your website is easily accessed by the person doing the search, and the responsive sites take priority over sites that are difficult to read on smaller screens.

Also, keep in mind that user experience and website interaction impact search engine ranking. If your site is difficult to navigate because it’s not mobile friendly, then it means that people are more likely going to push the back button and visit another site that is easier to read. This short time on the website will decrease your search engine ranking since Google will see that people aren’t sticking around for very long. Bounce rate is a very important factor for search engine ranking.

Search Engine Algorithm Updates

The search engine algorithms are constantly changing, and these updates impact the rank of your website in the search engines. One of the algorithm updates earlier this year was nicknamed the “Mobilegeddon” update, because it targeted the mobile friendliness of websites. This change in algorithm affected the search results, and many website owners were caught off guard because their website rank dropped since their site wasn’t mobile friendly.

If you are designing a new website, then you need to make sure that your site is mobile friendly. If you already have a website in place, then you need to consider the steps that should be taken to improve the mobile friendliness of your site.