No Excuses: Google’s New Mobile-Friendly Rules

Mobile-friendly career sites are now a must, because Google is putting its foot down.

Since last year, Google has indicated to mobile users whether websites listed in their search results were mobile-friendly. Now, websites that are not mobile-friendly will now begin to be affected in how they rank in search results.

GeekWire explains:

The changes will favor sites that avoid technologies like Flash that don’t work on phones, have layouts that automatically scale so that users don’t have to scroll side-to-side or zoom, and have links placed far enough apart that they can be easily tapped with a finger.

And ERE.net breaks down what “mobile-friendly” means:

Just what do we — and that includes Google — mean by “mobile friendly.” Those are sites designed specifically to be comfortably viewed on a small screen. That means the user doesn’t have to scroll left and right, doesn’t have to enlarge sections to make them readable, the site is easy to navigate (buttons and links are large enough), and pages aren’t so heavy it takes forever to load even at 4G speeds.

It’s important to note that Google’s preference in mobile-friendly design is Responsive Design, and there’s good reason for it. Responsive design means that content adjusts to display on any given screen size, without separate URLs or pulling different content. It’s what Careerleaf uses for its customers’ job boards, and we find it simplifies the experience both for users and for site owners.

But keep in mind, this isn’t just about mobile.

Futurists and fans of all things tech are busily speculating away what the implications of wearable tech and new devices like the Apple Watch will mean for business, technology, and the way the average person interacts with both.

My take-away from it all is this: designing the web and software to be responsive isn’t just about making what you have to offer smartphone-ready. It’s about offering your content, products, and services in the most flexible way possible. We have smartphones, tablets, phablets, and smart watches. Google Glass may not be a rousing success, but maybe something else will come along next year.

Staying stuck in desktop-only mode and styling your website like it’s 2005 is going to cost you. But the good news is that working with responsive design and agile technology can not only put you on a level playing field with the rest of the web, it can prepare you for the future.

ApplicantPro.com is a leading ATS provider, and they report that out of 4.5 million job searches per month, 65% of those came from mobile. Mobile job search isn’t going away any time soon.

If you’re only starting to pay attention now, you’re already behind. But don’t despair! There are solutions out there for job boards and career sites, and we’re always happy to answer questions and provide solutions.

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