SEO and Adaptive / Responsive and RESS Web Design

The area of Responsive web design is becoming a hotter and hotter topic these days for two different, but connected reasons. Both of course are about the issue of making sure that your website looks good and is useable on the ever growing number of mobile devices (including the iPad you might only use in the front room).

The main reason for the importance of making sure your sites looks Ok on these devices is simply because the chances of someone accessing your site using one of them is increasing on a daily basis. Mobile devices accounted for about 40% of Internet traffic in 2013 and that will more than likely hit 50% in early 2014. That means you just have to get this area covered, especially if you are in the B to C market place.

The second and less important issue is that our friends that nice ‘Mr Google’ is set to penalise sites that don’t take the trouble to look good on mobile devices, but only when the searches are made on a mobile device in the first place. This makes sense as it is Google’s stated aim to always deliver the best content and that of course means that it must be useable / visible too.

So, you do need to address the area of Responsive Web Design ( to use the general term) and for those that want to know more, especially when it comes to SEO, then please do see the article below:-

When it comes to SEO, is adaptive Web design or RESS (Responsive Web Design + Server Side Components) better than responsive Web design?

If the person who asked the question had phrased it as, “Is dynamic serving better than responsive Web design for SEO?” it would have been an easy question to answer. Unfortunately, with so many new terms being used to describe these modern Web experiences, it’s sometimes difficult to keep them all straight.

It also doesn’t help when authorities in the space use the terms “responsive Web design” and “adaptive Web design” interchangeably when they’re really not the same. Even Google Search serves [responsive Web design] results with [adaptive Web design] results, since “adaptive” and “responsive” are synonyms outside of Web design.

So, what’s the difference between adaptive Web design, dynamic serving, and RESS? Adaptive Web design and RESS are popular design terms for what Google calls “dynamic serving.” Essentially, all use server-side components (as opposed to a client-side component like CSS, which responsive Web design uses) to deliver content to mobile users.

Adaptive Web design, as far as SEOs are concerned, changes to fit a predetermined set of screen and device sizes. When a user requests content from a server, it detects the device that they’re on and serves them separate HTML that is designed specifically for that platform or device. It uses server-side components to deliver this HTML, but the adaptive layouts use fixed break points instead of fluid grids, and the site is typically fully designed for the user agent it detects, rather than only serving different components to users on different devices. One example of adaptive Web design is Screaming Frog’s website, which offers different site designs when you resize the browser.

RESS, on the other hand, is responsive Web design with server side components, which uses fluid grids for layouts. it detects the searcher’s device server side and delivers features that are optimized for the user of that device. It’s not a full redesign, but components like giving a scan prices button to users with compatible phones would be one way to utilize RESS. Notre Dame’s new home page serves as a good example of a website employing RESS.

Both of these differ from responsive Web design in that responsive Web design (as Google defines it) is “a setup where the server always sends the same HTML code to all devices and CSS is used to alter the rendering of the page on the device using media queries.” No request to the server is made, as everything is done client-side.

Click on the link here for the full story on SEO and Responsive Web Design.