In November we brought you news of a recent Google update which provided Webmasters indication on whether or not their website was effectively optimized for mobile visitors. By way of a small notification located beside the URL during a Google search, users are quickly made aware whether or not the website in question is mobile friendly. On the business side, the addition to Google Webmaster Tools allows Webmasters the opportunity to evaluate usability issues and correct where necessary.
In a continuous effort to make searching on mobile and tablets that much easier, the search engine giant has taken to proactively sending out mass notifications to websites that haven’t quite gotten the message yet. The subject line will read “fix mobile usability issues found on…”. Now as daunting as it may all seem, Google isn’t leaving anyone out in the dark, the notification also provides a detailed description of which pages were detected having issues as well as steps on how they can be resolved. Additionally, Google has a mobile-friendly testing tool which provides a set of criteria from which to reference to ensure your website meets Google standards. Specific criteria includes:
- Avoid uncommon software to mobile devices (flash etc.).
- Avoid the use of small text (users shouldn’t have to zoom).
- Pay attention to proximity of links (make sure users can easily tap/select the one they want, ensure they are far enough apart).
If your site meets all the criteria and is deemed mobile friendly you can expect to see something along these lines:
If your test proved a little less complementary, all hope is not lost. The notifications are to serve as means to indicate and warn that you may see a drop in rankings in the future should you not correct the issues. Google has also provided a guide to avoiding common configuration mistakes.
Since the tool was introduced last year there was word that there may be a future mobile ranking algorithm in our sights. It appears now more than ever this may be the case as these new notifications go beyond previous broken mobile site penalties with problem websites being individually notified. No official news of a new algorithm has been confirmed yet but if you haven’t, you’d better get to optimizing your website.
Not sure where to begin and need help optimizing for mobile devices or in need of a mobile website? Please do not hesitate to give SEO Premier a ring today for more information.