Smartphone users browsing the Internet face problems when certain websites require browser technologies not supported on their device. When users try to access such web pages, the browser will show up a blank space or a page with incomplete content. Google has now added on a feature that can identify websites that will not run properly on some mobile browsers and warn smartphone users about these non-functional web pages. The feature is available for English search results in the United States.
What exactly is the warning that the search engine giant displays on sites that are not search-friendly? In their official blog post, the team talks mainly about the anti-flash player message. Adobe Flash is not supported on iOS devices or devices that use Android versions 4.1 and higher. If users access a page that contains mostly Flash content through such devices, Google’s algorithms will detect the pages that may not work on these devices and point this out with a warning message that says, “Uses Flash. May not work on your device”.
To develop multi-device websites, Google says web developers can use HTML5 to design the websites instead of Flash as it is universally supported (at times exclusively) by almost all devices. One of the major reasons why HTML5 is a better choice for mobile devices is that HTML5 offers two things for online video over Flash — mobile capabilities and semantic markup. With semantic structures, it is possible to build HTML5 projects with multiple interrelated pieces that can be understood by web crawlers. Moreover, web crawlers and search engines cannot see inside of Flash so that Flash videos show up without any extra information. The other main benefits of HTML5 are:
- It is comparatively cheaper and faster (reduces development time). This option supports modern browser support for visual styling so great-looking effects are possible without laborious image slicing techniques
- There is no need to update HTML5 web apps manually as the updates happen automatically for users. Those who visit the app or use it will only see the app’s latest version. Therefore, the mobile app provider or developer does not have to provide support for multiple versions of the app
- It can be used to create hybrid apps. No approval is required to publish these apps on application markets if they are HTML5 apps