The world is embracing mobile, and Google is following suit. They recently announced a new set of changes to their popular search engine that are designed to provide a better experience for users searching on mobile devices.
In the first major step since their 2013 algorithm update that penalized sites for offering a lackluster mobile experience, Google has added a little perk for sites that have been designed for improved usability on mobile devices.
Google’s search results, when viewed on a smartphone or tablet, will now display a “mobile-friendly” label on results that have been optimized for mobile use.
It looks a little bit like this:
This new feature will allow mobile users to avoid choosing results that aren’t mobile-friendly and, therefore, makes it more important than ever to optimize your site for mobile use.
So, what criteria does Google use to deem your site label-worthy?
According to Google’s official statement, it must contain the following features:
- 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
Are you questioning whether or not your site will receive a coveted “mobile-friendly” label? Thankfully, Google has created a free Mobile- Friendly Test Tool, along with a number of other resources to help you “make your site look great on mobile devices.”
It doesn’t end there.
Google has also confirmed that it’s testing changes to its algorithm that will give a boost in rankings to sites that meet the mobile-friendly criteria. There’s no word, yet, on when this will roll out, but we can certainly expect it soon.
Update: read about the rolled out Google Mobile update and why your site MUST be mobile-friendly moving forward.