5 Important Guidelines for Google’s New Mobile-First Algorithm
So, a very important thing happened on the 21st of April, Google announced that it would be changing it’s search algorithms to favour mobile-friendly websites meaning that websites that were not mobile optimised would be shunned to the latter pages of people’s mobile phone searches. This was bad news for a lot of people but also massive news for pushing truly usable mobile-friendly websites which is important in this day and age.If you’re yet to make the changes and are wondering what Google requires of you to make your website appear where it used to in people’s Google Searches again then you’re in the right place. We’ve gathered the 5 guidelines that Google have set themselves and we are going to describe them in a little more detail for you to, to allow you to truly grasp the idea and optimise your websites for the future of mobile Google Searches.
If you’re yet to make the changes and are wondering what Google requires of you to make your website appear where it used to in people’s Google Searches again then you’re in the right place. We’ve gathered the 5 guidelines that Google have set themselves and we are going to describe them in a little more detail for you to, to allow you to truly grasp the idea and optimise your websites for the future of mobile Google Searches.
1. A defining viewing area that adjusts to the device’s screen
There’s without a doubt one of the most important things about making your website mobile-friendly is ensuring that the website fits to the screen of those using it. If they are having to pan and swipe left to right all the time to read text or view images then this is an unsuccessful and unfriendly mobile website. A defining viewing area requires that your phone has a single scroll and it is logical for the user of the website to know where to look and how to interact with it.
2. Content that flows in the viewport, so users don’t have to scroll or pinch the screen to see the entire page.
This is an extension of the previous rule. It is an philosophy that builds on the idea that when navigating your website, the user should only have to scroll down and still be able to read the text. This definitely means making sure that your text and images resize appropriately to the screen.
3. Fonts that scale for easier reading on small screens
When reading on a mobile screen, it’s obviously a far smaller screen than that of a desktop, laptop or even a tablet. Therefore, the fonts must scale well to the screen size to be legible for the user. This does not just mean making the text larger or even often making the text a lot smaller, it means continuously texting the font size so that it looks acceptable on a screen meaning it is legible but not too big.
4. Easy-to-touch elements (e.g. buttons) that are well-spaced from other touch elements.
This is something can something be tricky when it comes to optimising your website for mobile. Ensuring the parts of your website that are touch elements isn’t an easy task, especially when it comes to a menu design. A menu design that a lot of website go for when it comes to the mobile is the very popular slide-out menu that allows users to hit a button on the top left and it brings out multiple options for the user to press. Buttons must be spaced intelligently part, not too close so that they could easily be hit accidentally and not too far apart where they become too small to interact with either. It’s a fine balance to ensure the best user experience.
5. Visual design and motion driven by mobile-friendly technology.
Finally, to round up the whole design guidelines, you’ve got to ensure that your website looks like it was designed for the mobile platform and isn’t just a scaled-down version of your original site. The visual design should include the appropriate design sizes and the website should feel it is all connected and works together. An ideal Google brought with their launch of Material design was that with all their apps and websites that follow the design guidelines, that with the interactions should all work together and the website should navigate so the user knows where their interaction has led them and how to get back again.