Google has rolled out a mobile-friendly label in mobile search results. With this notification, SEO companies could be extremely busy optimizing client sites for the mobile Internet user.
Businesses Witness Rise in Mobile Search
A significant percentage of Internet traffic is accounted for by mobile users. The trend is getting stronger though there still are websites that haven’t quite been optimized for the mobile experience. Users face the brunt of this negligence as, when they happen to visit websites that are not optimized for mobile devices, they would either having to scroll sideways to view the full content or would find the text too small to read. To make it easy for mobile searchers to find what they are looking for easily, Google recently brought out a notification called "mobile-friendly" which will help users know whether a particular site would perform well on their mobile phone.
The "mobile-friendly" notification will now be rolled out beside each Google search result. Users glancing at the results would know which sites would perform better on their mobile device. Only websites with pages optimized for the mobile phone would get this notification below their listing on the search page. Google’s Webmaster Central blog announcing this has portrays this new feature as follows:
What Makes a Website Mobile-friendly
According to Google, a web page is qualified to receive the "mobile-friendly" label beside its search page listing if it:
- Employs text readable on the mobile phone without having to zoom
- Avoids software such as Flash that is uncommon for mobile websites
- Sizes content to fit the mobile screen without users having to zoom or scroll from side to side, and
- Keeps links far enough from each other so users can click on the one they want effortlessly
Google’s webmaster blog also lays down some steps to make a page meet its criteria for mobile-friendliness. It recommends webmasters to test their pages using the Mobile-Friendly Test. All you have to do is enter your URL here and the tool would analyze its mobile-friendliness. The Mobile Usability report is found in Google Webmaster Tools which can point out compatibility issues with mobile devices for your entire website. Google also has the Webmasters Mobile Guide which offers guidelines on creating or making your existing website a mobile-friendly site. For migrating your website that’s hosted on a Content Management System (CMS) to a more mobile-friendly template, Google offers a guide for WordPress, Joomla, etc.
Don’t Delay Optimizing for Mobile
Search analysts and SEO companies are of the view that by the end of 2014 it could well emerge that mobile Internet usage has outpaced the desktop or laptop Internet usage. It becomes imperative for Internet marketers, ecommerce companies and webmasters of other sites to get a mobile-friendly website up and running. Without a mobile-friendly design, websites face the risk of losing a significant amount of traffic, visibility, and thereby earnings.
Mobile-friendly sites have shown to be able to keep visitors hooked to their pages for longer time which increasing the chances for conversion per user. Google’s "mobile-friendly" notification is a step taken after acknowledging this fast growing trend. Now that this notification may appear prominently in the search results, mobile users may not even try to enter a website listing without this notification beside it. Webmasters and SEO companies need to act immediately.