Cliff Notes on Smartphone Website Configurations Supported by Google

At the recent PAII conference in Charleston, I noticed that Innkeepers were using “Catch Phrases” regarding Mobile Designs that was confusing the technology that Google wants to see in your Mobile Design.

In order to help Innkeepers (and other small business owners) clearly understand the difference between “What Google Wants” vs. “What Google will Support” when it comes to your Mobile Site, I am providing our Cliff Notes Version, directly from their own Webmaster Documentation located at: https://developers.google.com/webmasters/smartphone-sites/details

Google Mobile Approved Configurations InfoGraphic

If your current Mobile Site falls into Google’s 3rd Category “SEPARATE MOBILE” take a moment and Read our Blog Post concerning Separate Mobile Design.  You will want to verify that your Separate Mobile Web site Design is meeting Google’s Standards for Mobile Search Placement.

TO STAY COMPETITIVE, YOU MUST HAVE AN ONLINE MOBILE PRESENCE!


History

  • November 13, 2009 – Google Webmaster Central Blog documents the need for a mobile presence.  Reference
  • January 14, 2011 – Matt Cutts recommends using an M.URL.COM as a reference to a separate mobile site. Reference
  • June 6, 2012 – Google officially said responsive Web design is its recommended configuration. Reference
  • May 1, 2013 – Acorn IS began offering ONLY Responsive Designs. Reference

TESTING!!!   There are 2 tests available to determine if a Mobile Web Site exists, if it is Responsive, if Google is aware of it and how Google scores the Web Site for Speed and Usability.

  • First (Test 1): Determine if the site you are evaluating is Responsive.

If you determine that the site you are evaluating is NOT Responsive, there are 3 other options that it might be.

1) The site is a Dynamic Mobile Site (Googles #2 supported configuration).
2) The site is a Separate Mobile Site (Googles #3 supported configuration).
3) The site does not have a Mobile component.

TEST 1 – Visually LOOK and SEE if the site appears to be RESPONSIVE.

Step 1 – Load the Website you wish to test.Un Dock Browser
Step 2 – Click the Restore Down / Maximize Icon on your Browser to un-dock your browser window on the screen.
Step 3 – Using your mouse, grab the right edge of the browser window and begin to slide the screen from right to left.

  • If the Web site “Responds” to the size of the browser window as you adjust it with your mouse, then the site is “Responsive”.
  • If the Web site cuts off the Web site content as you slide the browser window smaller, then the site is NOT “Responsive”.


TEST 2 – Use Google’s Insight Testing Tool to see what SCORE Google assigns the Web site for Speed and Usability.

Step 1: Go to google.com and Search for the Web site you wish to evaluate.
Step 2: Highlight the URL on the address bar with your Mouse
Step 3: CTRL C (copy the URL)
Step 4: Go to http://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights/
Step 5: Place your Cursor in the Search Box
Step 6: CTRL V (paste the URL)
Step 7: Click Analyze

Notes:

  • Test multiple pages (all) of the site, not just the Home Page.
  • The Google Insights Tool isn’t consistently accurate. You may want to test a variety of times, as you may receive different results.
  • Google is continually tweaking their Speed Algorithm, so you should re-test your Site Speed monthly. You may need your programmer to make ongoing adjustments to keep your Site speed within range.


Wrap Up

Below is the handout we provided to those who Attended PAII regarding our Responsive Sites, both Custom and Turnkey, and their associated Speed Scores as tested on 1/1/2014.

Responsive Sites and Associated Scores as of 1/1/2014

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