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 from 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:
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.
- Go to Google Webmaster Tools
- Select Crawl > 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”.
- Click on the “Fetched” Results to see what Google sees
- From GWT select Resources > PageSpeed Insights
- See Results: Green is good, yellow needs work, red is poor
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.
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