Responsive vs. Mobile:  What does Google Like More?

Today, websites are one of the most important marketing components to a company. A website is where customers go to find all their information, make assumptions about the company, and try to understand the business better. If the website is difficult to navigate, the viewer can be left frustrated.

There are two major types of sites – a responsive website or a mobile website. A responsive website is a single site that has the ability to automatically adjust to whatever device the customer is viewing it on (like a phone, iPad, or computer desktop). As the screen size changes, the website moves to best accommodate the device. For a mobile website, the company creates an entirely separate website with the exact same content, but the information is formatted for a smaller screen (like a phone). While both genres of websites have many pros and cons, many companies, as well as google, tend to favor the responsive websites for the best SEO results.

Google has recommended responsive websites because it is easier to maintain and there tends to be fewer issues. With a mobile website, companies must create a different domain for the site. This can create problems if a customer is searching for a specific website or web pages. Google can confuse the two domains. A website created for mobile devices must also be updated as phones and technology advance. Also, not all devices work the same. A mobile website might work correctly on a touchscreen, but not work with keyboard navigation. The websites that are responsive allow a more advanced and elegant look, that doesn’t need to constantly be updated and fixed.

 In 2015, Google updated their policies and began penalizing websites that were not responsive or did not have a sister mobile website. Their new algorithm increased rankings of mobile friendly sites and down ranked the websites that were not. Google claimed they did this because with so many people in the world using mobile devices, it is critical for websites to stay updated.

 Depending on the business and its needs a company will have to choose between a responsive or a mobile website for its users. Factors like money, function, and maintenance should all help determine which one fits you and your company best, but in the end Google and other search engines tend to favor responsive websites over mobile sites.

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