Google have recently started to indicate whether websites are optimised for mobile visitors when displaying sites on search results pages served to mobile users. Google have been testing out different methods of indicating whether a website is mobile compatible over recent months, including icons and various text based labels (some indicating that a site was mobile compatible and some indicating that a site wasn’t) but have now settled on a simple “Mobile-friendly” label as a prefix to the description on search results that offer a mobile friendly user experience (you can see an example above).
This small change will have pretty wide reaching effects on visitor traffic entering websites from Google from a mobile device (such as a smartphone or other small screen device) as when presented with a mobile optimised website or a non-optimised alternative it’s likely that visitors will choose the mobile friendly version even if this ranks below the non-optimised site on the search results page.
The change is pretty recent and we’ve not yet seen any indications of a change is traffic volumes to non-mobile optimised websites on our hosting platform, however we would still recommend that businesses give this change some serious thought and consider the effects that a drop in mobile traffic could have.
Taking Google’s “Mobile-friendly” test
Determining whether your website is likely to get the “Mobile-friendly” tag when displayed in Google search results is pretty simple using a test provided by Google that will give a yes or no answer.
Just enter your website address into The Mobile-Friendly Test and it will show you whether your site is mobile compatible, if not you might want to consider taking steps to optimise your site for mobile users and prevent possible drops in search result rankings should Google use the “Mobile-friendly” marker as a factor in calculating search result placement.
We’ll be posting a follow-up article on first-steps to getting your site, and content, ready for a mobile audience, in the meantime if you have any questions about how these changes could affect your website please get in touch.