There are many good reasons to recommend a receptive design to a customer or your company, but getting better search results is not among them, says Colist Bryson Meunier.
Let’s debate the mobile configuration.
For those who have not followed closely, industry discussion on mobile design options implies whether it’s best to use an adaptive web design, adaptable design, or an autonomous URL to get better search rankings.
Because sensitive web design is Google’s favorite preference, many SEOs assume it’s always the best choice for SEO. On many occasions we have questioned this assumption, but for many, the question remains.
Google said there is no special push for response sites, but explains that the answer is your preference because it is easier for everyone. Do we believe them? Test the hypothesis that there is no special impetus for response sites.
If there has been a particular increase in the ranking, I propose to see the following:
When we look at sites that get the most organic Google search traffic, most of them will be responsive.
Most websites respond in 2017, so the percentage of sites with a high volume of Google search traffic that responds will probably be higher than the percentage of sites in general.
Websites that have the largest search traffic will have a higher percentage of response sites compared to independent URLs or tailored sites.
To test this, I looked at the top 100 sites – the sites with the most organic traffic from Google mobile search – according to SEMRush.
After dropping porn sites, I had a list of 94 sites. We crawled these Screaming Frog sites with the user agent configured on the Googlebot smartphone to see which ones were redirected to separate URLs, and the rest visited manually to see if are adaptable or sensitive.
The hypothesis failed. The three previous points were not true. If there is an increase in the ranking of response sites that Google has not told, data from important sites suggests that they are so small that they do not neglect other signals.
When it comes to most websites with 100 traffic, the most common mobile phone configuration strategy is 54%
This is followed by adaptive sites at 28% and separate URLs by 17%. None of the top 94 sites were mobile – hostile – they all used one of these three options.
This satisfies the first point, but, by itself, there is no impetus of sensitive classification.
To do this, the percentage of top sites – measured by total organic traffic – should have a higher percentage of sites responsible than all sites. We know, based on a study by Appticles published in Smashing Magazine, that the percentage of all sensitive sites is 52.11%. Therefore, the percentage of SEMRush 100 response sites is higher, but only 2.06%.
The story is the same for separate URLs, with 1% more sites with separate URLs appearing in the SEMRush 100 sample than in the sample of all sites. None of these differences are statistically significant.
When looking at the main differences in the graph, we must also look at non-mobile adaptive sites and sites. In any case, this graph suggests that:
the mobile configuration makes a difference in classification because there is a much smaller percentage of non-mobile sites in the SEMRush sample (zero) than in the overall sample and
Adaptive sites may have an increase in ranking because there are several of them in the sample of top sites than in the site sample in general.
However, there are more likely to be more adaptive sites in the sample of 100 sites, because adaptive design can only be achieved with significant resources – and the best sites in the world will likely have access to resources higher than the average blog or local business website.
The bottom line is that there is nothing here to suggest that response sites are more successful in SEO than sites that use the other two mobile configurations supported by Google.
When we look at the last criterion in my list, we also do not see an increase in the score. The site on the top list, Wikipedia, uses separate URLs.