Google has always strived to provide web users with the best possible search results and experience. With mobile devices (smartphones and tablets) fast becoming the preferred mode of Internet access, Google has naturally been placing a huge emphasis on user experience on mobile lately.
Last week, Google officially announced on their Google Webmaster blog the introduction of a mobile-friendly label next to mobile search results to guide users to websites optimised for mobile devices.
The mobile-friendly label appears directly under the website’s URL as you can see in the screenshot below:
This new mobile-friendly label will give mobile users a quick visual indication of whether or not a website will render properly on their smartphones or tablets and thus discourage users from visiting sites that do not provide a good user experience on mobile.
It can indeed be very frustrating when you’re browsing the web on a mobile device and open a site only to find out you need to continuously pinch and zoom to read the content and have to scroll left and right to see everything.
Is Your Website Eligible For The Mobile-Friendly Label?
For Google, a website is eligible for the “mobile-friendly” label if it meets the following basic criteria:
– 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
The new mobile-friendly label will be rolling out to search results globally over the coming weeks.
Google may indeed, in the future, start penalising websites that are not mobile-friendly by ranking sites according to how accessible they are on mobile.
Google claimed that the new mobile-friendly labels are a first step in helping mobile users to have a better mobile web experience. Google also mentioned that they are currently experimenting with using the mobile-friendly criteria for its search rankings. This could mean moving websites optimised for mobile devices higher up in mobile search results.
Go Mobile Or Go Home
These new developments from Google for better web experiences basically emphasize the need for businesses to have a mobile-friendly website.
Naturally, all our websites are already labeled mobile-friendly.
If you’ve not already converted your old website to a mobile-friendly site, now is the time to go mobile (or good luck!).
Google highly recommends having a responsive website that automatically adjusts to offer a streamlined user experience across all screen sizes. If you need help developing a mobile-friendly responsive website and would like one of our consultants to audit your website for you