Google recently announced the launch of a mobile-compatible testing utility to allow end uses to determine if your site is approved (by Google’s proprietary criteria) to be a proper mobile “optimized” site. For anyone who is unaware, this is critical for all UX/UI and Front End Engineers because Google will soon be adding a “mobile-friendly” content type label in its search results, corresponding with web sites that meet this criteria.
As with previous changes to algorithm within Google’s search index, this new addition could have a serious impact on click-through rates and external traffic patterns, but it is probably to early to tell if this will have any major impact at all. This will likely have an impact on overall Page Rank (by having mobile visitors turned away from your site), and something to keep in mind when building for the web or deciding upon website redesigns that are mobile-compatible and responsive.
Here are 2 key factors to think about when deciding upon website details impacted by this upcoming change to Google’s search algorithm.
- Avoid using Flash. I assume this is obvious, but all content within Flash will not be indexed or viewed on a mobile device, unless you happen to be using a Flash optimized browser like ‘Photon’ (but seriously, no one uses that). In general, stop using Flash and build HTML5/CSS based interactives and ads.
- Readable text (without manually zooming). Web sites should be adjusting content to the screen size automatically using CSS, so end users do not have to scroll horizontally or manually zoom in.
Even if you assume your site is ‘probably ok’, it’s worth it to try Google’s mobile-compatible testing utility. You never know what it might tell you about your own site! The best part about using this free service is that it will automatically tell you how to fix any issues, if encountered. If anything, you’ll know if you need a major overhaul, or just a few tweaks.