I am a huge proponent of responsive websites and responsive web design. Having completed an in-depth analysis about the topic very recently, this is a subject that is near and dear to me.
Today I was happy to come across a new video from Google’s Head of Webspam Matt Cutts on exactly this topic. On many occasions, I have found myself having to defend why a responsive website is better than separate desktop and mobile platforms.
And sure, I understand why many webmasters and web marketers are partial to a separate mobile site. It can serve a great role as a hybrid between a clumsy desktop browser optimized website and a reduced functionality mobile app. But this is under the assumption that a typical website cannot provide a positive user experience on a smartphone, tablet, or other mobile device.
That assumption is flat out wrong today. Sure, a few years ago, it was the best way to control the user experience. But with all of the advanced coding capabilities available to us today, that is no longer true.
Keep in mind that the goal should be to provide a unified customer experience across all platforms. What better way than to have the same website with the same URLs for each page?
Considering SEO, Matt makes some good points. The biggest one is that you only have to build a single page for each URL. This alleviates the need to spend time confirming that all the right canonicals are in place or to split up PageRank between multiple versions of the same content.
From a maintenance and management standpoint, it is easy to see that working on a single web property is MUCH more efficient than managing a couple of websites or a website and a completely separate mobile app with an inferior UX.
If you ask for my recommendation, I will suggest responsive websites over separate user experience nearly every time. Let’s get on to the video so you can hear it for yourself.
Cutts: Responsive Websites Are Not Bad For SEO
In the video below, Matt Cutts answers the following question posed to him online:
Does a site leveraging responsive design “lose” any SEO benefit compared to a more traditional m. site?
And below you can view his answer. Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.