Mobile websites

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Mobile websites

In March 2018[1] Google changed the way of analyzing and indexing some of the websites and started using mobile first indexing[3]. Previously, Google’s robots downloaded desktop versions. Currently, most websites are crawled in the mobile version first.

http://gs.statcounter.com/press/mobile-and-tablet-internet-usage-exceeds-desktop-for-first-time-worldwide

Mobile traffic (tablets and smartphones included) in 2016 was already greater than desktop traffic.


https://www.stonetemple.com/mobile-vs-desktop-usage-study/ 


Data from 2018 estimate that nearly ⅔ of overall traffic (2 trillion visits on websites) comes from mobile devices.


MAIL FROM GOOGLE ON MOBILE FIRST INDEXING


This is an example email from Google concerning changes in website indexing. Once we receive such an email, we know that Google will crawl and index the mobile version of a website first.


TYPES OF MOBILE WEBSITES

  • no mobile version - Google will continue to download the desktop version of a website
  • a responsive website - in many cases it might prove to be the best option. The content on desktop version and the content on mobile version are the same while website layout changes depending on the device that is being used.
  • separate URLs - a website is available under a separate URL address. For example: m.example.com
  • dynamic server - the content of a website is decided upon by the server on the basis of the user’s device. Such a method is prone to errors[4].
  • AMP websites[5] - fast websites with limited functionality


How expensive is it to have a mobile website?

The best answer would be a phrase typical for lawyers: “it depends”. If a website uses the CMS system and it is possible to upload free templates (eg. Wordpress), a mobile version might be created for free in just a few clicks. However, creating a mobile website from scratch requires advanced technical skills. For that reason, it is advised to consider hiring a software engineer, which will involve additional costs.


SOME ISSUES TYPICAL FOR WEBSITES THAT ARE NOT SCALED FOR MOBILE DEVICES

  • small font - websites that are not scaled for mobiles often have very small fonts, which will make reading difficult
  • elements too close to one another - hitting the proper link on a small mobile is difficult
  • flash - content that is not supported by mobile devices
  • viewport - the visible area is not configured
  • fixed-width area - some elements have a fixed-width that is wider than the screen of a mobile device



Pulno checks if a website is scaled for mobile devices. 


CONCLUSION

Having a website that is scaled for mobile devices is essential to run an online business. Mobile traffic is constantly growing and it seems that this trend will not change. We recommend hiring software engineers to make sure that your website is fast[2] and responsive.

Sources:

  1. https://webmasters.googleblog.com/2018/03/rolling-out-mobile-first-indexing.html
  2. https://webmasters.googleblog.com/2018/01/using-page-speed-in-mobile-search.html
  3. https://developers.google.com/search/mobile-sites/mobile-first-indexing
  4. https://developers.google.com/search/mobile-sites/mobile-seo/dynamic-serving
  5. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Accelerated_Mobile_Pages


Jacek Wieczorek is the co-founder of Pulno. Since 2006, he has been optimizing and managing websites that generate traffic counted in hundreds of thousands of daily visits. 


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