Ever feel like Google’s quest for a friendlier mobile environment is a bit like a version of the old children’s game “Mother May I”? You ask a question with the phrase “May I” and wait to hear if your request is granted or not.
When it comes to indexing a practice’s website with Google, the initiative for mobile friendliness can lack the polite factor. Instead, it’s best to get on board with the newest change rather than be left behind.
Why it Pays to Be Friendly
If you or your business have been on the fence as to whether or not site mobilization affects page rank or not, the answer is clear. Google will now begin providing a mobile-friendly stamp of approval on all sites, according to a Google Webmaster blog posted in mid-November. This means that sites with small text, tiny links, and hard-to-access content have the potential to see a dive in their rankings if the problems aren’t resolved.
Signs of Mobile Unfriendliness
- Use of software like Flash that is used for design and animation;
- Text that requires users to zoom way in or way out to read; or
- Packing page links in tighter than sardines.
While most of us have experienced firsthand the frustration of a site that isn’t optimized, it can be difficult to be objective when it comes to looking at your own site, particularly if it’s one that you’ve designed. If you’re not sure if your site is up to the latest Google mobile standard, take the Google mobile-friendly test and read through the mobile usability report in the Google Webmaster Tools.
Even if you believe that your site is currently optimized, it’s a good idea to quickly plug your URL into the Mobile Friendly Test platform. It’s a no-fuss way to see a site through the ranking eyes of Google and get some quick action items on resolving the issue fast. These tools allow users to quickly highlight mobility issues across the entire site, not just the home page. If you use a third-party platform for web design such as WordPress or Joomla, take a look at Google’s third-party software how-to guide.
Outcomes of the Mobile-Friendly Test
- Returns reasons why the website is not friendly, according to Google;
- Makes recommendations to create a more mobile friendly page; and
- Offers a screenshot of how Googlebot sees the page.
Site friendliness is just the latest addition in an ongoing initiative by Google to improve the mobile web experience, one that continues to keep web developers on their collective toes. A number of UI experts talking on the subject also hypothesized that font size, in particular, will continue to play an important indicator in overall Google page rankings.