Is Responsive Design A Ranking Factor?

Is Responsive Design A Ranking Factor?

Nowadays we live in a mobile-first era and are moving toward a mobile-first index. That’s because consumers are addicted to smartphone and tablets. In this environment, responsive design is no longer an innovation. Instead, it has become a standard component of any SEO plan, regardless of industry.

“more Google searches happen on mobile devices than on PCs in 10 nations including the US”

When it comes to designing a mobile website, there are three choices:
1. Responsive:
Serves the same HTML code on the same URL regardless of the users’ device (desktop, tablet, mobile, non-visual browser), but can render the display differently based on the screen size. Responsive design is Google’s recommended design pattern.

2. Adaptive:
Uses the same URL regardless of device, but generates a different version of HTML for different device types based on what the server knows about the user’s browser.

3. Traditional “m.” mobile sites:
Serves different code to each device, and on separate URLs. This configuration tries to detect the users’ device, then redirects to the appropriate page using HTTP redirects along with the Vary HTTP header.

Now, Google does not favor any particular URL format as long as the page(s) and all page assets are accessible to all Googlebot user-agents.

With one website able to show on all devices, Google can easily crawl, index, and organize your content. It doesn’t have to crawl a separate mobile website or index different versions of the same content.

Google also looks at bounce rate to determine if a website is providing quality content and/or user experience to it is visitors. This is especially important when it comes to mobile searches are performed on a mobile device.

A responsive website reduces bounce rate because your website will automatically offer the best user experience to your visitor, keeping them engaged and on-site longer. A poor experience on mobile will increases your bounce rate and that is not good for your SEO ranking.