Internet Marketing Tips, Suggestions, & Ramblings

Google Mobile SEO Falls in Love with Responsive Design Overnight

If you don’t love responsive design already you will after reading about Google’s latest announcement. Heck, what are we waiting for, here it is.

“Google recommends webmasters follow the industry best practice of using responsive web design, namely serving the same HTML for all devices and using only CSS media queries to decide the rendering on each device.” – Google

We are talking about mobile search engine optimization here. And Google has just come out and said that they recommend responsive design as the best option. 

What is Responsive Design?

Well, according to Wikipedia responsive design is when “A web site is crafted to use Cascading Style Sheets 3 media queries, an extension of the @mediarule[1], with fluid proportion-based grids, to adapt the layout to the viewing environment, and probably also use flexible images. As a result, users across a broad range of devices and browsers will have access to a single source of content, laid out so as to be easy to read and navigate with a minimum of resizing, panning, and scrolling.”

This is a great definition, but to digest it a little. Basically it is a website that resizes to fit the size of the screen you are viewing the website on. When this is implemented correctly you can visit the site on any device and it will automatically resize.

Responsive Design for Mobile Full
Responsive Design for Mobile Full

Responsive Design for Mobile Resized
Responsive Design for Mobile Resized

Why is Responsive Design the Best Option for Mobile SEO?

Google says the advantages of responsive design include having one URL, making it easier for your users to interact with the page. This also makes it easier for Google as they only need to crawl one URL opposed to multiple URLs with content on them. Furthermore, from an external linking and social media sharing perspective, users will only have one URL to link to, opposed to multiple URLs. For those of you who don’t know it was previously a common practice to have mobile sites on a subdomain or another domain. This made it very confusing when considering what information to serve to Google Bot and Google Bot Mobile.

What are Other Options for Mobile Optimization?

While responsive design is the best option for mobile SEO, it is not the only option. According to Search Engine Land, Google will still index your mobile site if you do one of the following:

  1. “Dynamically serve all devices on the same set of URLs, but each URL serves different HTML (and CSS) depending on whether the user agent is a desktop or a mobile device.”
  2. “Have a separate mobile and desktop sites.”

More Insight on the Topic

I have been working with mobile SEO and following the strategies on it for some time now. The responsive design approach is by far the cleanest option. However, implementation can be difficult for certain websites depending on the platform and purpose of the site (ecommerce, tool based, etc). Ultimately, it makes sense for all online businesses to explore responsive design as a primary option.

So go get your responsive design going right away! Or contact us and we will build it for you.

About Garry Grant

Garry Grant is a veteran expert in search engine optimization and the digital marketing industry. With nearly 20 years of experience, Garry has successfully built a multi-service operation at SEO, Inc., developing proprietary technologies through complex strategic solutions. He has extensive experience in key initiatives and operational responsibilities grounded in information technology and performance management.

Garry’s expertise and esteemed reputation, coupled with SEO Inc.’s impressive client success record has earned him such accolades as Entrepreneur Magazine's 2005 Hot List for the Hottest Internet Property, Inc. 500 2007 Honorary award for Fastest Growing Private Company in America, an Inc. 500 top 50 Company in San Diego, and interviews with The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, WIRED, Entrepreneur and The Huffington Post.

Garry Grant began his online career in 1993 creating strategic Web and e-business solutions for, The Rush Limbaugh Show, Premiere Radio Networks, Clear Channel Communications, EarthLink and Artisan Motion Pictures. Today, Garry and SEO Inc.’s highly skilled digital strategists develop proprietary technology and strategic digital marketing direction for Fortune 500 companies including, SC Johnson, McAfee,, Inc Magazine, IGN, Tacorri, LPL Financial, National Kidney Foundation, G4 TV, Fuel TV and Sony, just to name a few.