Be "mobile friendly" for better ranking in Google

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Google is placing more emphasis on mobile in its search results. These changes came into effect 21 April 2015. What should you do?


Blog by Ollie / / Comments / Difficulty 
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Google is placing more emphasis on mobile in its search results. What this means is not clear yet, but it is commonly understood to include favouring sites and pages which are optimised for mobile and perhaps even penalizing sites and pages that are not.

These changes came into effect 21 April 2015.

C5Hub's themes for both concrete5 5.7 and 5.6 are all mobile friendly, built using responsive frameworks such as Foundation 5 and Bootstrap 3. Some of our older work, branded under the username "Formigo", also uses the less well known (these days) Skeleton framework. So if you're in the market for a new theme to make your site mobile friendly then look no further than the concrete5 marketplace.

If you need to test your current site/theme then you can use this tool provided by Google.

It's worth saying that if you want the best chance of a "fully" responsive website, you would be better using the latest concrete5 5.7. The system itself is built with mobile websites in mind - the block components and tools that ship with 5.7 will work responsively out-the-box. This is not always true with concrete5 5.6 core blocks and the layout tool in that version has been known to interfere with the normal reflow of a responsive theme.

So 5.7, which is shortly out at version 5.7.4, and of course, one of our themes, would be the better choice in my opinion ;)

Obviously though, not every concrete5 user wants to rebuild their website to avoid being down-ranked by Google or, if they do, its not a task they can complete overnight, particularly on a larger website.

So, if this includes you and your website what else can you do, if only for the short term, to avoid getting penalized?

Well here's a quick and dirty CSS and Javascript file I call "Mobilize" which will force content into a responsive-like flow. It also enables content that is problematic when shown on mobile to be suppressed and even moved. Additional content can also be displayed for mobile.

It's not a concrete5 package, and will work on any non-concrete5 site also, and, whilst I did consider writing this as an installable concrete5 package, really there's no point. The package would only take care of loading the CSS and optional JS file, and that's simple enough to do manually, anything else you need to do with it is done by adding class rules to selectors in your HTML to influence how they will be displayed on mobile viewports.

I've tested this on 3 websites so far and all have passed Google's mobile friendly test, so it's a start, but only that.

In summary, concrete5 5.7 is a great platform for your next website given the changes Google has made recently. When used in conjunction with one of our themes which is responsive out-the-box, you're going to find passing Google's mobile friendly test a breeze, and, if you need a short term fix, the above script or something similar, may give you a little breathing space in the short term.

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