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19 . 11 . 14

The future is now the future is mobile


iPhone 0 : Asphalt 1

The future is now the future is mobile or so Google are leading us to believe with releasing a series of new SERP features and planned future algorithm updates.

In order to help deliver a better user service over their mobile searches Google have officially launched a mobile friendly label which displays against search results indicating what listings are mobile friendly and which are not.

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The official notification came via a blog post listed in Google webmaster central where Google said it can be a “frustrating experience for our mobile searchers” when visiting a site which is not mobile friendly.

However what Google have missed is the frustration a number of users have when visiting a “mobile friendly” site when the mobile site does not replicate the same look and feel of the desktop version such as when there are large amounts of missing content and varying user journeys.

How does your site qualify for such a label I hear you say?

Well there are a number of criteria that GoogleBot needs to detect in order to add the label to your listing these include:

  • 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

However this is not all that Google have been working on over the past few months Google have generated a number of guides for different website platforms to help develop mobile friendly sites which include the following platforms:

These updates are all a further development on from the mobile usability reports in webmaster tools and mobile pagespeeds insights which Google updated months ago when adding in a user experience score of a mobile site and the site speed score of a mobile site which really highlights their focus on making sure search is becoming more mobile focused.

But how can you test that your site is mobile friendly?

Well it happens that Google have also released a mobile testing tool which by entering your desired URL it will return a basic diagnostic report as seen in the example below from testing the BBC website:

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So it turns out the BBC site is not mobile friendly…well this isn’t an actual shock with the amount of mobile apps that they have developed for both their News and Sports sections and this really highlights a key issue with these mobile developments from Google – One size does not fit all.

Different websites have different offerings; different markets develop and react in different ways to their users, so how will a mobile algorithm really benefit the user?

Certainly a large number of questions Google have yet to answer…

For more information from Google you can visit their mobile hub where all the information and tools are stored https://developers.google.com/webmasters/mobile-sites/

If you have questions on your mobile performance or mobile search listings then please get in touch with us at twentysix.

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