Google To Highlight Mobile Friendly Sites in Search

Linda Bustos

In order to improve user experience for mobile searchers, Google recently announced it's rolling out a "mobile-friendly" label to mobile search results globally over the next few weeks.

How do you qualify as "mobile-friendly"? Google cites the following criteria:

  • Avoid software not common on mobile devices (i.e. Flash)
  • Use text size that is readable without resizing
  • Scale content to the screen so user doesn't have to pinch or zoom
  • Leave enough space between links and tappable objects

In addition to Google's guidelines above, make sure you're not committing any of the 6 deadly sins that could cripple your mobile SEO:

  • Faulty redirects
  • Smartphone-only errors
  • Unplayable videos
  • App download interstitials
  • Irrelevant cross-linking
  • Slow loading pages

Responsive or adaptive?

It doesn't matter if you're responsive or adaptive (or a hybrid of both), though Google in the past has recommended responsive design, with a preference for a single URL structure. Forrester analyst Peter Sheldon has observed that mobile sites using a separate mobile domain (such as m.site) do not appear to pass Google's mobile-friendliness test.

Is your site up-to-snuff? Take Google's Mobile-Friendly Test and find out, or consult your Mobile Usability Report in Google Webmaster Tools.

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Linda Bustos

Linda is an ecommerce industry analyst and consultant specializing in conversion optimization and digital transformation.