With the ever increasing use of smartphones to access the Internet it is very important that your business website is mobile friendly. Over the last few weeks Google has made it much easier to determine how mobile friendly your site is by introducing some new tools for the purpose of evaluating your site.
The new focus by Google on the importance of effective mobile design has been in the works for some time. Recently it was reported that there were mobile friendly notifications showing up in search results on smartphones. On the Android system the notices were little cell phone icons while on iOS powered phones the notice was in text “Mobile Friendly”.
Then, shortly thereafter Google announced a new mobile usability analysis tool in Google Webmaster Tools. At first many sites found that there was a message in Webmaster Tools saying that their site had not yet been analyzed by the system. In addition the notification was not showing up in cell phone search results in all areas. The result was that it was difficult to analyze your site.
Today Google announced on their Webmasters blog that there was another tool available in Google Developers to analyze the mobile friendly status of your website. I immediately went to the supplied URL and gave the tool a whirl. I already knew that the Street Punk Productions site was deemed to be mobile friendly by Google but I just wanted to re-confirm with the new tool.
In addition to just evaluating your website for mobile friendliness the tool also provides a list of reasons that your site is not mobile friendly (if it makes that determination) or how you could further improve your site even if it does pass the test.
So far all of the sites built by Street Punk Productions have passed the Google mobile friendly test without any modification. However, many of the sites that we manage that we took on as existing sites do not pass the test. This is because many platforms claim that a site or a template is “responsive” or even mobile friendly when in fact it is not (at least not in the eyes of Google). In the case of those sites we will have to examine them and alter or re-design them so that they are mobile friendly if their owners want to be competitive in organic search on mobile platforms.
Does this mean an adjustment to the Google mobile search algorithim that will reward mobile friendly sites and penalize sites that cannot earn the mobile friendly tag? According to at least one recent story this may indeed be the case. Even if it is not the fact remains that mobile search users expect a mobile friendly site when they click on a search result. If the site they land on is not mobile friendly then, as often as not, they will go back to search results and try another site. In order to stay competitive you have to always try to deliver the best user experience possible to visitors to your site no matter what browser or platform they are on.