October 23, 2019
Reading time: 3 minutes
Users may have noticed in recent weeks that a trend towards dark fashion is emerging for websites. What is this topic about and what is its significance for search engine optimization?
YouTube has recently asked its users if they would prefer to use the darkmode version of the video portal. This is a variant in which as much as possible of the background is kept black. When I had completed the conversion, it seemed a little unusual to me at first, but with time I liked it.
Most smartphones glow very strongly in the dark and therefore have the same effect as if you were looking into a light bulb. It's similar to the tube TVs of the past. For this reason it is sometimes exhausting for the eyes to read a longer article. Of course, anyone can adjust the light intensity on the phone so that the screen is not quite as bright, but only the white background becomes darker, while the black letters remain unchanged. This in turn makes the contrast worse.
Johannes Mueller of Google says that darkmode is not used as a criterion for the SEO rating. But if you think you're off the hook, think again. Take a look at a good list of this SEO agency. It is an overview of the most important technical SEO criteria of today:
All SEO experts agree that Google evaluates the usability of a site based on certain metrics. These include factors such as bounce rate, length of stay, etc.
If one page, no matter what the topic, offers one dark mode and the other doesn't, then the different display could lead to users preferring to read one page on their smartphone rather than the other. This in turn has an impact on the metrics and they in turn can lead to changes in the rating of the page by the Google algorithm. Worse metrics = worse ranking.
From this point of view, it is quite possible that darkmode as a ranking factor creeps into the SEO world via the back door. Not as existing / not existing - criterion, but about the shift of the user signals.
If you have your pages managed by a search engine optimization agency, you should probably ask for an adjustment now. Or maybe you can take part in a SEO training and do it by yourself. The change is not too much of a challenge. Some lines in the CSS of the page, and the problem will be fixed. You shouldn't expect too much of an impact on Google rankings. It's more a protection against being pushed behind a competitor site because of such a small thing. Then it would take a long time to regain your good position.