Does Google really prefer responsive sites?

This article first appeared in issue 232 of .net magazine – the world's best-selling magazine for web designers and developers.

Believe it or not, Google did not just tell you to make your sites responsive. It seems many people heard that and only that coming out of the iSEO session at SMX Advanced in Seattle on 6 June of this year, but that’s not entirely what they said.

I was on the panel with Pierre Far of Google and Cindy Krum of MobileMoxie and while Google did express a preference for responsive sites, what they ultimately recommended is what they always recommend – to build a site that makes sense for your users. If you determine that responsive design would provide an inferior user experience to mobile URLs or dynamic serving, then they want you to use either of these two other mobile configurations they also support.

Let’s review Google’s guidelines for developing smartphone sites:

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