I have written elsewhere lately that I am hopeful that design and SEO, in 2012, are closer than they have ever been. However, Google changes make me question this.
Among Google’s many changes this year, one thing that seems like more of a constant than ever is the big G’s love of long content pages (especially if they are from Wikipedia, as always!) Panda updates routinely target thin content pages and Penguin favors sites with authority (among other factors).
If you run a website hoping for search engine and mobile traffic, how do you create web pages that will get found by search engines and also viewed for any length of time on mobile devices?
People on iPhones and other touchscreen mobile devices are not likely going to read your scrolly web article (like this one). So when you are putting content online do you plan for mobile or for SEO?
The division has grown again, I think… thanks to Google (again). The easy way around this is to make some content friendly for mobiles, images, memes and other things that people are likely to share and view on smartphones – and others ideal for SEO – long content posts with hyperlinks in and out – but you have to strike a balance and you have to be savvy about both.
Responsive design will only get you so far
All the responsive design in the world is not going to increase the time-on-page for long webpages that are simply not going to be read on a mobile device. If people come to your site because of a catchy image then click around to find a long page of written content there goes your time-on-page.
It’s just another conundrum we face as strategists, writers and designers.
I’d be interested in comments that discuss how others work around considerations for mobile users and other marketing considerations, especially SEO.
Here are some questions on my mind…
Is there any evidence that Google takes into account the very different attention span of mobile users?
Shouldn’t Google actually serve different search results on mobile devices?
Correct me if I’m wrong but Google makes no hard and fast distinctions between SERPS on a mobile device vs. SERPs on a PC (related to whether or not content is actually mobile friendly) and I see nothing about this in their mobile playbook.