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Has Google Officially Named Mobile Responsiveness as a Ranking Factor?

Has Google Officially Named Mobile Responsiveness as a Ranking Factor?

It wasn’t really that long ago that accessing a website through your mobile device put you face to face with a scaled down model of a desktop version that was difficult to read and nearly impossible to navigate. But a few years makes a tremendous difference in technology, and today, consumers expect a completely different experience.

Today’s mobile consumer is expecting an optimized user experience. They want easy access to websites from their smartphones, and they expect sites to load in the blink of an eye. Search engines, like Google, caught on to this some time ago, and now businesses are wondering how mobile responsiveness factors into their own SEO success.

The main question is this: is mobile responsiveness a confirmed ranking factor? And if so, how big of an impact does it have on SEO?

Where Does Google Stand?

Yes, there are search engines other than Google, but we all know that it's Google's algorithm that has the greatest impact on how we approach search engine marketing. What they say matters, which makes their constant algorithm updates especially frustrating.

Still, these updates are meant to improve user experience and build traffic – two things that successful businesses depend on. With that in mind, paying attention to what Google says isn’t just good SEO practice; it’s also important for establishing relationships with your target market.

Over the past couple years, we’ve heard quite a bit about mobile-first indexing. Last year, Google made it official – mobile optimized websites get priority ranking over desktop versions. Considering this, is mobile responsiveness an official ranking factor?

Yes and no.

Google is always a little elusive when it comes to direct questions regarding their algorithm, but all signs point to no. But while mobile responsiveness itself isn’t a ranking factor, many UX elements that go along with it are.

For instance, mobile speed is a ranking factor and sites that meet the mobile consumer’s expectations for speed are going to get rewarded. Likewise, UX factors that encourage visitors to linger, decrease bounce and provide indicators of a positive experience all place your website in a favorable light in Google’s eyes. It’s hard to achieve this for mobile consumers when your website isn’t responsive to their needs.

Next Steps In the Age of Mobile-First Indexing

Finally, while your non-mobile responsive website won’t necessarily be “punished”, it’s not going to be rewarded either. Having a mobile responsive website unlocks your potential to boost rankings, build visibility, and connect with your target audience – especially if your focus is on local SEO.

The bottom line?

Mobile responsiveness directly plays into many of Google’s most important ranking factors. Without it, you’re missing the opportunity to connect with a growing mobile market. Investing in mobile responsive web design is an investment in your future and it’s also a necessity for staying competitive in today’s digital landscape.

Want to know more about mobile responsiveness? How can it elevate your online presence and connect you with a larger section of your market? We offer a full range of SEO services and we’re here to help you grow your business. Contact Inquisitek today to learn more.