We all remember The Matrix, right? The movie where the very talented Keanu Reeves was able to use both of his facial expressions? He played Neo, the almost anti-hero who took the Red Pill and had the ‘real world’ revealed to him. Neo was shown that the world he thought was real was really nothing more than computer code called The Matrix. In short, it was a great movie concept but the thing is, you might want to start looking out for your own ‘glitches’. Incredibly, some scientists think it’s possible that we are indeed living in a computer simulation.
You’re probably asking what do the Matrix and responsive website design have in common? Read on..
Perhaps the nearest we everyday folk get to this scale and scope of pervasive coding is the Google Algorithm. It’s called PageRank (after founder Larry Page) and it’s designed to rank website pages according to numerous factors that combine to deliver the best search experience to the user. Furthermore, it’s dynamic, updated frequently and it grows in scope every day. Today’s Google algorithm is one of the most complex computer codes ever written. In fact, it’s so vast, it’s now integrated with RankBrain, Google’s AI algorithm designed to bring a more nuanced search experience.
Science fiction concepts aside, do not underestimate the power of good code when commissioning a new website. A website built with great content but poor coding is like putting Cadel Evans on a rusty old baker’s bike and expecting him to win the Tour. So, when Google sends out web crawlers to sniff out the good and bad of the internet, they analyse the website’s code as well as its content. Consequently, if their algorithm slips through the site’s code like a greased piglet, then up the page it goes. On the other hand, if the crawlers find poor code, your site may be penalised and doomed to obscurity.
A recent change to the mighty algorithm has been its response to website designs that aren’t coded to work well on all devices, particularly mobiles. As a business, this will have a huge impact if your website isn’t a ‘responsive web design’.
Simply put, a responsive website design allows a website to display equally as well on any device. This means a desktop monitor, iPad, tablet or mobile phone. This also includes all functionality and content including media such as videos.
Globally, mobiles accounted for more than 60% of all internet access in 2018. This figure is more like 80% in China. Clearly, mobile phones have come a long way since the Matrix flip phone.
The big change in the way mobile sites are assessed by Google has been implemented since July 2019. Google now have a mobile-first strategy for all new websites since that date. As a result, they will now rank your website based primarily on the performance of your mobile website. This is a big deal for a lot of businesses. Clearly, you must ensure you prioritise your mobile site.
Whether we live in a computer simulation or not, what is real is the need to ensure your website design is keeping pace with current search engine algorithms. This means making sure your website design company are employing developers with great coding skills to keep Google pushing you up the search results. Happy ranking folks!