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PostHeaderIcon 5 Reasons why Responsive Web Design is not the best SEO option

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There’s confusion among webmasters to whether Responsive Web design is best for SEO.

It all started when Google announced last June its preference for Responsive Web Design. However, Google cleared that although they preferred Responsive Web design, they don’t imposed it as the best option for SEO and that they’re in a way recommending mobile URL and dynamic serving of SEO as the best for their users.

While many webmasters are gunning for the responsive web design, there are reasons why it is not fitting to their descriptions as the best SEO option. 

1.  Absence of categories in desktop for what mobile searchers are searching for 

This goes for information architecture where websites are being prevented to connect to searchers in general. If a website doesn’t have content information for certain category, then it’s missing out the chance for more traffic. However, making a site responsive to mobile URLs may resolve the issues but not totally eliminate them. It’s very unlikely to have desktop websites to have content information for apps and download apps. Hence, they would definitely won’t have content information even they’re responsive-designed. 

2. The keywords game

Keywords are the keys to having responsive websites. A desktop website would not be responsive to keywords such as “nearby” and “download apps” as mobile users are more likely to use these two example keywords. One reason is that desktops and laptops don’t have GPS that could lead searchers to nearby restaurants and would only locate one based on IPs or the location used during registrations. This is the reason behind Google’s support over mobile URLs and not actually saying Responsive Web Design is best for SEO.

3. Responsive Web Design may in some ways prevent product innovation and restricts user’s experience

Google had included in their Quality Guidelines that making your website unique, valuable and a stand out from the rest is the prime qualities that make it as a responsive website.  So why restrict it from taking innovations in order to reach out to more users when users can have separate mobile site that can serve well their mobile users and impose on new ways to enjoy the products or services the site offers. Google for example still have contents for mobile which proves that they don’t wholly depend on responsive web design as SEO’s best option and openly support mobile URLs and dynamic serving.

4. Speed is a key factor in attracting users

With responsive web design, webmasters have to use more codes and therefore websites take longer to load than mobile sites. And in most cases, if the site takes time to load, searchers leave and thus affect its ranking and results to decreased conversion. In Google’s own research, it showed that mobile users are more likely not to stick to websites that won’t load instantly. It’s the reason why mobile websites using mobile URLs are more likely to use the speed factor in SEO and many webmasters would agree that Speed is a relevant factor in ranking system.

5. Feature phones and targeted audience

If you happen to target audience that uses feature phones, Responsive Web design is definitely not a good SEO option. Even Google isn’t using it for their feature phones. It limits sites visibility in countries and places that uses feature phones.

If you are after following Google guidelines, don’t jump to the responsive web design bandwagon if you don’t want to miss out the possibilities of optimizing websites through SEO.

Reference: SearchEngineLand

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