Google’s Testing More Mobile Ranking Signals & Displays! Is your Mobile Site Ready?

Women checking a moblie site on smartphoneGoogle looks to be preparing to more aggressively identify sites that don’t offer users a good mobile experience.

Already sites that don’t offer a mobile friendly site/pages suffer in those search rankings, and mobile sites that load too slowly are demoted. Now it appears that Google is preparing to take their mobile search ranking criteria up another level.

In two separate articles this past week, Barry Schwartz of the Search Engine RoundTable reported on mobile search related ideas Google is working on.

1. User Experience: Google would like to be able to evaluate user experience and rank those mobiles sites that provide a poor user experience lower. The following Google statement is fromĀ  Search Engine Roundtable

“According to our studies, 61% of users are unlikely to return to a mobile site that they had trouble accessing from their phone. That includes sites that use fonts which are illegible on mobile, or sites where users have to zoom in or pan around excessively. Mobile is a very important area; the mobile device penetration is over 50% in the USA and most users use their device for browsing websites. Because at Google we are aiming to provide a great user experience on any device, we’re making a big push to ensure the search results we deliver reflect this principle. We want users to be able to enjoy the web wherever they are.”

2. Displaying “Not Mobile Friendly Icons” in Search Results: Google has been testing icons in the search results that identify both “mobile friendly” and “not mobile friendly” websites/pages. Images from Search Engine Roundtable.

Mobile “Friendly” Icon:

Google Mobile Friendly Search IconMobile “Not Friendly” Icon:

Google Not Friendly Search Icon

Update (10/14/14): Google’s also testing a text version of the “Mobile-Friendly” signal: Google’s Text Version of Mobile-Friendly Web Pages In Search Results by Barry Schwartz on Search Engine Roundtable

Test Your Mobile Site

Not sure if your Mobile Site is sufficient. Try these tests.

1. View your Mobile Site: Many business owners are content to know that they have a mobile or responsive site, but don’t bother checking it. Open it up on your smartphone and/or tablet. Make sure it’s easy to navigate and displays what is important to your business – name, phone number address, etc.

2. Fetch and Render as Google: Google Webmaster Tools allows you to see what Google sees when it crawls your site.

Google Web Master Tools Fetch as Google

  • Choose the “view” you want to fetch (i.e. Desktop, Mobile: Smartphone) from the drop down menu, and select “Fetch and Render”.

GWT Fetch and Render

  • Click on the “Fetched” Results to see what Google sees

Google Webmaster tools fetch results

Google Webmaster Tools Fetch and Render Mobile results3. Check your Mobile Site’s Loading Speed:

  • From GWT select Resources > PageSpeed Insights

Google Page Speed Tool

  • See Results: Green is good, yellow needs work, red is poor

mobile site speed test


Note: Check your site speed regularly. Last time I checked, both the desktop and mobile version were rated Green. Looks like I have some work to do!

Thanks for reading! As always your questions, comments, and shares are welcomed and appreciated!

4. Check Your Mobile Site’s User Experience (UX):

  • Scroll down from your Site Speed test.

User Experience


The following two tabs change content below.
Brent is a REALTOR with Keller Williams in Henderson (Las Vegas valley) NV. He has a background in digital marketing and is a nationally recognized SEO expert. In addition to this blog, he is a VIP contributor to Search Engine Journal and has been syndicated through SteamFeed, Social Media Today and B2C.

, , ,

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

7 × three =