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How Googles algorithm changes influence web design

Google’s latest big algorithm update (Namely the one which now includes an analysis of how mobile-friendly sites are) is shaping how designers approach each new project in a much more pronounced way than most of the other algorithm updates that have went live in past years.

What is Google looking for now?

Sure, your site might load up on a smartphone: It might even load reasonably quickly – But Google is interested in far more than just loading speed…Their new algorithm looks at things like how easy to read your text is across devices, whether or not your links are positioned too closely together, if the mobile viewport is set correctly and much, much more.

Don’t underestimate the importance of each new algorithm change

Algorithm changes are incredibly influential to the evolution of the web – Just a few tweaks by Google is enough to get businesses all over the world jumping for joy – or tearing their hair out in rage.  Shortly after each algorithm adjustment, debate within the global web design community goes into overdrive, as designers, SEO experts, developers and marketing gurus put their collective heads together to think of how best to change their approach going forward.

If you wish to stay relevant, it is important to pay close attention to what each algorithm change means to your online business – and to ensure that everyone working on your site is capable of steering it towards success.

With great power, comes great responsibility

If one is to believe their company guidelines, the whole point of Google constantly refining their algorithm is to reflect changes in how people access and use the web.  By penalising sites which don’t adhere to newly identified norms and rewarding sites which do, it becomes easier for Google’s users to search for and find sites that will give them a better experience.  The trouble is, by doing so they force the hand of the global web design community to change how they do things, with a list of ever-changing standards to adhere to and an even smaller creative sandbox to play with: Do we really want Google to dictate how we design websites? Perhaps the question should be: ‘If not Google, then who else will be calling the shots?’

The fact that Google has a whole lot of power when it comes to shaping how the web looks and performs ‘in the wild’ is not something new, just a fact of life in this cycle of web design.

Whether idealistic Google mantras like: ‘Focus on the user and all else will follow.’, ‘You can make money without doing evil.’ or ‘Democracy on the web works.’ are truly at the core of Google’s algorithm changes or not, is irrelevant for most savvy businesses looking to progress online – they’ll be too busy adapting to the changes and looking ahead to the next algorithm update.

About Graham Lyons

Graham is the SEO and Social Media Marketing Manager at Cozy Digital and the editor of the Cozy Digital Blog as well as contributing content for most of our social outlets like Facebook, Twitter and G+. Graham has been working in, and writing for the SEO / SMM industry since 2001 and is still as dedicated and passionate today as he was when he opened his first Website Design, Ecommerce and SEO company in 2004. You can connect with Graham and Cozy Digital via the social media links below:

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