Google has a small mountain of updates and changes to its algorithm in play this month.
If you have a website, you’re a designer or a developer, this applies to you.
Mobile-Friendliness and Search Rankings
The headline with the largest type size regards Google’s search algorithm and your site’s mobile friendliness. Google has been warning the public for months now about this change, but now “Mobilegeddon” has descended on the web.
On mobile search, Google will put those sites that have a mobile responsive or mobile friendly sites first in search results over those that do not. This is great news for the public because, as Google put it: “Consequently, users will find it easier to get relevant, high quality search results that are optimized for their devices.” But for site-owners who are a little late to transition, this can be detrimental for search rankings.
Luckily, if your website isn’t mobile friendly, NJI Media has experience transitioning non-mobile friendly sites to mobile friendly ones. Now that you know the cost of keeping your website without a mobile view, contact us for more information on how to make the move. Google also advises you plan to tweak the code based on the response you see in your analytics results in the weeks and months after mobile launch.
In a slightly less dramatic update, the material design team at Google Design posted some updates to its design spec standards, which aim to create standards for a visual language that accounts for gestures, type, data and other elements. The updates they’ve made include new or additional guidance for data tables, floating action buttons, typography, tabs, scrolling techniques, writing guidelines for settings, and other topics. To really dig into specifics, check out the current What’s New area of the design spec, which has all the April 2015 updates Google released last week.
Although the NJI Media design team takes inspiration for functionality from a wide variety of sources — their own top-notch knowledge and experience, observed trends, design influencers, and coffee-fueled creativity — we’re definitely paying close attention to these changes, and you should leaf through them, too.
URL Display on Mobile Search
Another recent update to Google’s standards and technology is the revelation that Google will hide full URLs when a visitor searches on mobile. Their reasoning is that “well-structured URLs offer users a quick hint about the page topic and how the page fits within the website” and that if they’re broken down into breadcrumb names (e.g. Google > about > company >history) that will be more useful for the visitor than the full url (e.g. www.google.com/about/company/history). This is only a test roll out to some users and will be limited to the US. This echoes the mobile friendly update in that Google is trying to make the web better structured for visitors.