Have you ever visited a website from your smartphone or tablet, only to find it nearly unusable due to sizing, scrolling or links too tiny to click? Well, the time has come to rejoice, as Google has added a “mobile-friendly” designation to search results on mobile devices.
The new tool, which has been tested over the last several weeks, has now been released globally to let a mobile searcher know that a site has been optimized for the mobile viewing experience. According to Google, any page is eligible for the mobile-friendly tag, provided it meets certain criteria that Googlebot will detect. These criteria include that the page:
- Avoids software that is not common on mobile devices, like Flash
- Uses text that is readable without zooming
- Sizes content to the screen so users don’t have to scroll horizontally or zoom
- Places links far enough apart so that the correct one can be easily tapped
Though the designation will only affect searches performed from a mobile device, Google also said they are experimenting with using the mobile-friendly criteria as a ranking signal. With an ever-increasing number of sites competing for search rankings, this change highlights the importance of keeping the user experience (on all devices) in mind. Though no official penalty has been announced for sites lacking a responsive design, it is clear that a mobile-friendly website will have the benefit over a similarly ranked site that does not have a responsive design.
Wondering if your site will be considered mobile-friendly? Google has provided a tool to check your URL. If your site doesn’t pass the test, it’s time to make the transition to responsive design and we’d love to help you do so.
Photo credit: Google
Updated: Nov 16, 2020