The views of this article are the perspective of the author and may not be reflective of Confessions of the Professions.
The Irony of the Non-Responsive Google
The importance of a Responsive Design in any website nowadays is absolutely essential. It is so important, in fact, that Google has made it part of the ranking factor and if you have a non-responsive website, you will be ranked lower than websites that are able to be viewed with perfection on a mobile or tablet device.
At first there were just rumors and suggestions as early as March of 2015, if you had a website set up with Google webmaster, you were notified of all the problems associated with your website and how to fix them. This let you know that Google was preparing for something huge, something big, and they meant it. This was your official warning that if your website was not responsive, your ranking in the Google search engine was going to be affected.
We realized that Confessions of the Professions, which remained largely unresponsive on all devices, while we were writing plenty of articles on why websites should be responsive, just how hypocritical we sounded when we saw that our pages were not responsive, and therefore, we decided to do something about it, not only because we wanted to have everyone enjoy reading Confessions of the Professions on every screen, but we too were warned from Google Webmaster Tools:
Subject: Fix mobile usability issues found on http://www.confessionsoftheprofessions.com/
Body: Google systems have tested 774 pages from your site and found that 21% of them have critical mobile usability errors. The errors on these 164 pages severely affect how mobile users are able to experience your website. These pages will not be seen as mobile-friendly by Google Search, and will therefore be displayed and ranked appropriately for smartphone users.
We are working to continually improve our responsive design and making sure everything is 100% mobile-compatible and follows a responsive design. Since this initial report, we have reduced the number to about 9 page errors or 1.16% of the 774 pages tested. We are now officially 100% mobile and tablet responsive.
If you are a web developer, you know how important it is to reach your audiences, no matter what they are using, and have your website look good on any screen size. Responsive design entails being able to move the window on any browser, and the elements on the website will automatically adjust based on the size of the browser.
If you are using a larger screen, such as a 20 inch or more, you can adjust the browser to see how it would appear on all smaller screens. There is no doubt that in this day and age, from present and into the future, whether you have a website or are thinking about creating one: You need to have a responsive website that can be viewed on all devices and all screens.
The irony of this forceful move from Google is that Google itself remains largely unresponsive on a non-responsive web-template for many of its websites and web pages. While Google determines what websites will rank well or not dependent upon their responsiveness, Google has yet to make their own website responsive. Google may have a separate URL to which mobile phones are taken, but as a leader and seer of best website practices and SEO, their entire web template should be responsive to anyone dragging their browser to a different size.
Good job Google, be sure to practice what you preach! Or you could be like my mother, who always told me: “Do as I say, not as I do.“