Mobile is slowly taking over the world of SEO and digital marketing. When it comes to professional SEO services, we know that any website that does not get on board the mobile movement will get left behind when it comes to search rankings.
As such, websites originally made only for desktop have been optimized for mobile browsing and are now responsive to various mobile devices and screen size.
The shift was from desktop to mobile. But what if you’re building a new site and want to make it mobile-only? Does not having a desktop-friendly site affect your rankings on Google?
Google says it won’t.
In a Google+ Hangout last August, Webmaster Trends Analyst John Mueller said you do not need a desktop-friendly site to perform well on desktop results, as long as the mobile version of the site renders well on PCs.
Mueller explained you only need to “make sure that desktop users can still see some of your content.” “If it is formatted in a way that works best on mobile, that’s perfectly fine,” he said.
“You definitely don’t need a specific desktop website in addition to a mobile site,” Mueller added.
He explains further that this is okay because Google will “just include the mobile site in our search results like any other site and we will also present it to desktop users.”
Mobile Sites Over Taking Desktop
We already know that desktop sites are excluded in mobile search results, but Mueller’s answer tells us mobile sites are NOT excluded in desktop search results, in general.
Essentially, Google is saying that having a mobile-only website (no desktop-friendly version) is just fine. The site will rank just the same on mobile as it does on desktop search results.
It’s important to note, however, that the mobile version does not show up as an error on desktop. Make sure the content displays properly and is still user-friendly to anyone who wants to access it on a PC. Ultimately, to do well on search rankings and satisfy users, the content needs to be readable and accessible.
Mueller later clarified that while a mobile-only site is fine, it’s still best to provide the best experience to users on all platforms. In a Google+ post, he explained that “just because you can do something, doesn’t mean you should, nor that it’s a best practice.”
“A good way to make it work in both worlds would be to have a site that uses responsive web-design techniques to adjust to the size of the user’s device / settings,” he added.
“I can imagine some sites starting off with only a mobile-friendly website (it’s kind of like businesses that use a mobile app instead of a website), but I’m sure most would do well to also provide an awesome experience for users with larger screens (be it a desktop, laptop, mobile, TV, etc.).”
Consumer Behavior and Mobile
In May 2015, Google confirmed that mobile has overtaken desktop when it comes to search queries. It said in a blog post that “more Google searches take place on mobile devices than on computers in 10 countries, including the US and Japan.”
Online Publishers Association/Frank N. Magid Associates, via an article on Search Engine Watch, says most of the time, 99.5% of users use their smartphones and tablets to access content/information.
Sixty three percent use mobile devices to access the Internet, 62.1% to check their emails, 49.2% to listen to music, 46% to play games, 41.7% to download and use apps, 15% to buy online, and 15% to read a book.
For businesses, mobile is the preferred medium for executives doing research during and after office hours. 92% of executives have a smartphone used for business, according to the IDG Global Mobile Survey 2014. 77% use their smartphone to research products or services for their business, and 93% will complete the purchase using a laptop or desktop.
The US mobile commerce market is set to grow about 25% from 2014-2019. Make sure you’re part of that growth by working with the right SEO and digital marketing partners. As a trusted provider of SEO services in Denver and other parts of the country, C1-Partners works to ensure your site reaches the target consumers on the right platforms.
Get in touch with our experts today and see just how we can help improve your website and SEO campaigns, be it on mobile-only or mobile and desktop.