Welcome to WebmasterWorld Guest from 23.22.182.29

Forum Moderators: not2easy

Message Too Old, No Replies

Is Lack Of A Mobile Site Hurting Me?

     
5:53 am on Nov 29, 2013 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

joined:Jan 4, 2001
posts:1076
votes: 3


[googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.ca ]

That blog is about redirect issues that involve the interface between the desktop www version and a mobile version of a site. It's clear Google is very sensitive to the mobile landscape and are prepared to penalise sites (the desktop WWW site according to the example) that don't redirect as per Googles preferred method.

I may be jumping at shadows but is this perhaps an oblique way for Google to say that if a site wants to be taken seriously and rank well against its peers, there needs to be a mobile version to reach the increasing number of smartphone users.

Is there anyone here who feels that not having a mobile site might be in some way be related to their post Penguin demise? I guess that question can be also be asked in reverse... has anyone seen an improvement in their desktop site after launching a mobile site?
12:03 pm on Nov 29, 2013 (gmt 0)

Senior Member from US 

WebmasterWorld Senior Member lucy24 is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Apr 9, 2011
posts:12704
votes: 244


The linked article distinguishes pretty clearly between content "at a different URL" (what most people mean when they talk about having a mobile version of the site) and mobile-friendly content at the original URL. And everything under "faulty redirects" really boils down to "please use the brains God gave you".

The smartphone suggestions page [developers.google.com]* lists three options:

--responsive design
--dynamic html with "Vary" header
--separate URL

In that order. Two of the three involve no redirecting at all.

We do not consider tablets as mobile devices because, among other reasons, they tend to have larger screens. Most tablet users expect to see tablet- or desktop-optimized pages when browsing the web. This means that, unless you offer tablet-optimized content, users expect to see your desktop site rather than your smartphone site.



* It's really https, but Forums software didn't like that. Ahem.
12:05 pm on Nov 29, 2013 (gmt 0)

New User

joined:Sept 23, 2012
posts: 16
votes: 0


Despite rank , Penguin , Serps etc .. . a mobile site is an easy way for improvement .
12:42 pm on Nov 29, 2013 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

joined:May 13, 2010
posts: 1054
votes: 0


We are seeing more & more visits from mobile devices. Although our site is not designed for mobile it works & people can purchase from us. I think we will still make a dedicated mobile site in the next 12 months. Forget Google, if it makes your customers happy then that is all that matters. I don't think a lack of mobile site would hurt rankings, why should it? Can anmyone say they say ranking improved accross the board for having a mobile site & that was the sole reason?
2:30 pm on Nov 29, 2013 (gmt 0)

Senior Member from GB 

WebmasterWorld Senior Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Oct 14, 2013
posts:2107
votes: 157


has anyone seen an improvement in their desktop site after launching a mobile site?


It's made absolutely no difference to my sites whatsoever.

What is interesting is that 99.99% of my visitors do not use the mobile sites, even on small BlackBerry screens users still stay with the desktop site.

Why? I have no idea, the mobile button is next to the home button so it's not as though it cannot be seen plus people cannot say the mobile sites are no good because, quite simply, they are not trying them.

On iPhones/Lumias/HTC/etc, my desktop sites display as designed and are legible for anyone with normal eyesight however I have to use glasses sometimes, it depends how tired my eyes are. On anything with screens 6"+ my regular desktop sites display perfectly and I do not need to use glasses.

Of course it does depend on the width of your website, I rarely make anything wider than 900 pixels
3:58 pm on Nov 29, 2013 (gmt 0)

Moderator from GB 

WebmasterWorld Administrator 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Apr 30, 2008
posts:2507
votes: 140


What is interesting is that 99.99% of my visitors do not use the mobile sites, even on small BlackBerry screens users still stay with the desktop site.


I am also not using mobile sites in most cases - I always respond with "No" when asked to move to mobile or am finding a link to force a move to desktop if redirected automatically.

Why? There is always this feeling that mobile site is "cut down" version of the main site and that "you may be missing something" by going to mobile site.

I would only change to mobile if I find desktop site very slow or ackward to use.
4:06 pm on Nov 29, 2013 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

joined:May 13, 2010
posts: 1054
votes: 0


Why? There is always this feeling that mobile site is "cut down" version of the main site and that "you may be missing something" by going to mobile site.

Spot on & usually true! I guess it depends on what your site does, if a cut down version allows a user on a small screen to achieve the goal easier then it makes sense. I made my first online purchase via my phone a few months back, the retailers mobile site was great & the purchase took less than 2 minutes. On the desktop site I would have struggled.
8:17 pm on Nov 29, 2013 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member

joined:May 31, 2006
posts:1209
votes: 7


I just launched a new responsive design on my biggest site a few weeks ago. I did it to have a good mobile user experience, I know I much prefer visiting mobile optimized sites, but only if they have all the same content as the main site.

I think for most sites a responsive design is the way to go. You have one template, one domain, no redirects, it's simpler and just works. That won't work for every site though.

I can tell you that from looking at my stats, my traffic did not decrease before making the change (as though I was being penalized), but I have seen an increase in traffic since. I doubt it's related to the new mobile/tablet friendly layout though. I've been adding new content almost daily this month whereas I had only posted maybe 25 articles the whole year prior to that.

That said, I wouldn't be surprised if at some point down the road Google does start to rank non-mobile friendly sites lower. When it comes to putting users first, mobile visitors shouldn't need to pinch, zoom, etc. to view an article.

Do what you need to make your site the best for all your visitors and worry less on what Google is doing. Remember you have control of your site and (basically) no control over Google.

If you have to ask a mobile visitor to choose between a mobile site view or full site view, you've already failed. Remember the KISS principle.
8:21 pm on Nov 29, 2013 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member

joined:May 31, 2006
posts:1209
votes: 7


It's made absolutely no difference to my sites whatsoever.

What is interesting is that 99.99% of my visitors do not use the mobile sites, even on small BlackBerry screens users still stay with the desktop site.

Why? I have no idea, the mobile button is next to the home button so it's not as though it cannot be seen plus people cannot say the mobile sites are no good because, quite simply, they are not trying them.

RedBar, it sounds like you do not detect and send people to the mobile version. Why is that? People probably don't click the mobile button because they already clicked the back button.
9:13 pm on Nov 29, 2013 (gmt 0)

Senior Member from GB 

WebmasterWorld Senior Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Oct 14, 2013
posts:2107
votes: 157


RedBar, it sounds like you do not detect and send people to the mobile version.


That is one of my pet hates, websites assuming that I am on mobile simply because I may be using Android. Thankfully my tablets offer me the option of selecting desktop but if a site sends me straight to mobile, I'm gone.
12:18 am on Nov 30, 2013 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:June 28, 2013
posts:2372
votes: 210


Whether it's necessary or desirable to have mobile versions of your pages (or even "responsive design") probably depends on how well your desktop pages render on smartphones. A busy, cluttered layout like the home page of the New York Time looks horrible on a typical iPhone or Android phone, but a two-column blog layout might work just fine.

Search comes into play, too. We have hand-edited smartphone versions of several hundred pages in the most popular section of our information site, but when I search from my iPod Touch, Google Search always sends me to the desktop versions of those pages even though I've correctly implemented annotations for desktop and smartphone versions. (I put a lot of time into creating those smartphone-friendly pages nearly a year ago, but Google seems to ignore them.)
1:07 am on Nov 30, 2013 (gmt 0)

Senior Member from US 

WebmasterWorld Senior Member netmeg is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Mar 30, 2005
posts:12677
votes: 143


During my busy seasons, over 70% of my traffic is mobile now. I didn't wait till Google decided whether or not they were going to act; I put up mobile sites three years ago. I'm sure they're aware of how much of the traffic (searches) come from mobile and can tell whether or not my users are finding what they want when they get there.

My B2B customers are even seeing increased mobile traffic now, but the difference is, my mobile traffic is mostly smartphones, and the B2B sites' mobile traffic is almost exclusively tablet. So we put up a mobile site (or in some cases responsive design) just as a hedge against the future.
1:53 am on Nov 30, 2013 (gmt 0)

Senior Member from US 

WebmasterWorld Senior Member lucy24 is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Apr 9, 2011
posts:12704
votes: 244


Thankfully my tablets offer me the option of selecting desktop but if a site sends me straight to mobile, I'm gone.

Happily this is exactly what g### recommends :)
9:23 pm on Nov 30, 2013 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member

joined:May 31, 2006
posts:1209
votes: 7


RedBar, I don't know what your site is about but it sounds like you might be a good candidate for a responsive site :-) Google will eventually punish you for what you're doing... isn't that what the blog post is about?
3:51 pm on Dec 1, 2013 (gmt 0)

Senior Member from GB 

WebmasterWorld Senior Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Oct 14, 2013
posts:2107
votes: 157


but it sounds like you might be a good candidate for a responsive site :-)


The mobile sites are responsive and html5, I have also constructed several html5 responsive desktop sites but have had to replace them because they just wouldn't rank in Google.
10:52 pm on Dec 1, 2013 (gmt 0)

Senior Member from US 

WebmasterWorld Senior Member lucy24 is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Apr 9, 2011
posts:12704
votes: 244


The mobile sites are responsive and html5, I have also constructed several html5 responsive desktop sites

It sounds as if you are using the term "responsive" in a non-standard way.
12:28 am on Dec 2, 2013 (gmt 0)

Senior Member from GB 

WebmasterWorld Senior Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Oct 14, 2013
posts:2107
votes: 157


It was late, I was tired ... I have developed a fully responsive, html5 template site in desktop format to a 1,000 px width, however my first usage of it was for my mobile extensions on several sites, subsequently I have also used this template for some new sites without much SERPs success.

Yes, it works across all formats, beautifully, and even better than I ever dared to have hoped on small screen smart phones:-)

The template width can be adjusted to whatever fixed-width required and even elastic/flexible if required, quite simply I prefer to view desktop sites in fixed-width.
1:52 am on Dec 2, 2013 (gmt 0)

Senior Member from US 

WebmasterWorld Senior Member lucy24 is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Apr 9, 2011
posts:12704
votes: 244


It is not every day you see the words "responsive" and "fixed width" in the same sentence.
5:13 am on Dec 2, 2013 (gmt 0)

Preferred Member

joined:June 10, 2011
posts: 519
votes: 0


@RedBar
I'd suggest you to read more about "responsive design". You may learn some new things, actually, not so new.

has anyone seen an improvement in their desktop site after launching a mobile site?


No.
However, after reading what Google recommend about mobile experience, and their long term focus, I see it as mandatory. It's a must and may become one of the most crucial ranking factor very soon.
11:51 am on Dec 2, 2013 (gmt 0)

Senior Member from GB 

WebmasterWorld Senior Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Oct 14, 2013
posts:2107
votes: 157


You may learn some new things, actually, not so new.


I'm fine with what I'm doing, you do what you want to do.
12:02 pm on Dec 2, 2013 (gmt 0)

Senior Member from GB 

WebmasterWorld Senior Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Oct 14, 2013
posts:2107
votes: 157


It is not every day you see the words "responsive" and "fixed width" in the same sentence.


[m.bbc.co.uk...]

[m.bbc.co.uk...]
12:15 pm on Dec 2, 2013 (gmt 0)

Preferred Member

joined:June 10, 2011
posts: 519
votes: 0


@RedBar
I apologize. Didn't want to offend in any way.
2:13 pm on Dec 2, 2013 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:June 28, 2013
posts:2372
votes: 210


However, after reading what Google recommend about mobile experience, and their long term focus, I see it as mandatory. It's a must and may become one of the most crucial ranking factor very soon.


For mobile search, anyway.
3:35 pm on Dec 2, 2013 (gmt 0)

Moderator from US 

WebmasterWorld Administrator martinibuster is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Apr 13, 2002
posts:13971
votes: 122


For mobile search, anyway.


Right. Lack of a mobile friendly version might impact your mobile search rankings. Don't see why it should impact desktop rankings.

From a report on SearchEngineLand about changes inhow Google ranks mobile sites in mobile search: [searchengineland.com]

To improve the search experience for smartphone users and address their pain points, we plan to roll out several ranking changes in the near future that address sites that are misconfigured for smartphone users.
4:27 pm on Dec 2, 2013 (gmt 0)

Senior Member from GB 

WebmasterWorld Senior Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Oct 14, 2013
posts:2107
votes: 157


Thanks for that martinibuster, there's a Google developers post here:

[developers.google.com...]

It's the first time I've actually seen Google state this:

We do not consider tablets as mobile devices because, among other reasons, they tend to have larger screens. Most tablet users expect to see tablet- or desktop-optimized pages when browsing the web. This means that, unless you offer tablet-optimized content, users expect to see your desktop site rather than your smartphone site.


That's a good piece of clarification for all.
4:54 pm on Dec 2, 2013 (gmt 0)

Senior Member from US 

WebmasterWorld Senior Member netmeg is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Mar 30, 2005
posts:12677
votes: 143


(They had to say that to justify why the advertisers can't bid separately for tablets anymore - just for phones)
5:24 pm on Dec 2, 2013 (gmt 0)

Preferred Member

joined:June 10, 2011
posts: 519
votes: 0


This means that, unless you offer tablet-optimized content, users expect to see your desktop site rather than your smartphone site.

Yes, but I think one must effectively address a rapidly growing mobile/tablet audience.
There are 3 big questions -
1. Does the future of the web belong to desktop or mobile?
My Guess: Mobile, including tablets.

2. Does the future of mobile content belong to the web or mobile-apps?
My Guess: Mobile-apps

3. Does the future of mobile apps belong to HTML5 or native Apps.
My Guess: HTML5

p.s. and Google search will become an application-content search :-)
6:40 pm on Dec 2, 2013 (gmt 0)

Moderator from US 

WebmasterWorld Administrator martinibuster is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Apr 13, 2002
posts:13971
votes: 122


Know what can hurt a little? Is the quirky manner Apple tablets interface with the real world. Buttons stop functioning or go missing altogether, photos get uploaded in portrait mode instead of profile and other issues related to poor Apple engineering.

I've had complaints from Apple users about these kinds of things and researched for solutions. Some solutions are easy, quirks related to how the devices read CSS.

Bottom line, testing is more important now than ever. It's WORSE than when we had to contend with NN 4.7, remember that?
7:44 pm on Dec 2, 2013 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:June 28, 2013
posts:2372
votes: 210


We do not consider tablets as mobile devices


I noticed just the other day that, under "Mobile," Google Analytics now shows traffic in three categories: "desktop," "tablet," and "mobile." (I don't know when the change took place, but it makes sense in light of the quoted Google comment.)
8:43 pm on Dec 2, 2013 (gmt 0)

Senior Member from GB 

WebmasterWorld Senior Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Oct 14, 2013
posts:2107
votes: 157


Google Analytics now shows traffic in three categories: "desktop," "tablet," and "mobile."


It's shown it that way in AdSense for a long time however it is not very accurate since it recognises a Win8 smart phone as a desktop and when selecting desktop on an Android tablet, it can't recognise that either.

The tablet I can understand but the phone? Even Statcounter can distinguish that.
This 33 message thread spans 2 pages: 33
 

Join The Conversation

Moderators and Top Contributors

Hot Threads This Week

Featured Threads

Free SEO Tools

Hire Expert Members