November 23rd, 2014 | 1 MIN READ

Google To Highlight Mobile Friendly Sites in Search

Written by author_profile_images Linda Bustos

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

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 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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