Pierre Far, Google Webmaster Trends Analyst, has announced that Google is recommending responsive web design for use with mobile devices. Read the official announcement on the Official Google Webmaster Centralblog. Bing also recommends responsive web design.
Google has this to say:
Sites that use responsive web design, i.e. sites that serve all devices on the same set of URLs, with each URL serving the same HTML to all devices and using just CSS to change how the page is rendered on the device. This is Google’s recommended configuration.
Google still supports creating separate mobile sites that serve different HTML on different URLs, but they have clearly drawn a line in the sand indicating which they prefer.
I’m happy to hear it. I have long disliked the idea of creating separate mobile sites even though it was the best use of the technology at the time. The fact that Google has now endorsed responsive web design sends a clear message that it is here to stay.
The Top Six Reasons I am Excited For Responsive Web Design
1) Mobile SEO will be easier. You will no longer have to sweat duplicate content, missing URLs, and other mobile site SEO issues.
2) Design For Tablets will be easier. When creating a separate website for mobile devices, often the tablets were overlooked. The desktop version didn’t look quite right on a tablet, and neither did the mobile version.
3) Updating the website becomes easier for website administrators. I know from experience that clients who update their websites sometimes were confused by the fact that they have to update two different sites. Since responsive websites are one site with different layouts, this streamlines the process of updating the site.
4) No more updating your device-checking code. New mobile devices are being introduced all the time. Doesn’t it just make more sense to check for screen size rather than trying to keep up with that mess?
5) Better analytics. If you have a mobile site on a subdomain, you’re going to need to set up a filter to view the data correctly. It is kind of a sticky process.
6) Google and Bing have now both recommended it!