A month ago Google released a blog post about changes to the Google search algorithm that will penalize mobile sites which are not structured correctly by reducing their ranking on Google’s search results. This is a pretty major change, as many businesses might not be aware that their mobile site is not conforming to Google’s requirements.
If we have built your mobile site, you have nothing to worry about as we comply with all of Google’s requirements (I will touch base on that later). Nonetheless, I still believe it is interesting to take a look at some of the common mistakes that Google is referring to:
- Faulty redirects – for every page in your desktop site, you should have an equivalent mobile page. For example, if someone is searching Google for an inner page in your website e.g. www.company.com/abc and will be redirected to the homepage of m.company.com, that’s a big no no according to Google. Google wants you to have the equivalent mobile page, meaning that in the example above the request should be redirected to m.company.com/abc. Businesses are at risk when they have a mobile site that is a minimized version of their desktop site with less pages and content.
- Mobile only errors – making sure that when users are redirected to the mobile page, they don’t get a page unavailable ‘404’ error
- Unplayable videos – specifically flash videos that work only on desktop but not on mobile
- Slow performance – mobile pages that take a long time to load.
This is the second time we see that Google is taking affirmative steps against common web design mistakes that sacrifice the experience for mobile users. The first time was back in 2011 when they disclosed that AdWords campaigns that lead to mobile-optimized landing pages will rank higher than those leading to non mobile-optimized landing pages. I’m pretty sure that as mobile traffic continues to increase and take a bigger percent of total web traffic, Google will continue to hammer down on non-optimized experience for mobile users. Eventually every business will have to have a mobile-optimized site or bear the risk of not being found on the web.
Good news is that as long as your web site designed by Affordable Web Design and Marketing, Inc. , we’ve got you covered. Our mobile converter mobile-optimizes every page of your site automatically. We then make sure that every page on your desktop site redirects to the equivalent mobile-optimized page. We also remove flash-based videos that don’t work on mobile browsers and continuously work to improve your mobile site performance . We do this work for you behind the scenes, so you don’t need to worry about being compliant with Google requirements and just focus on what you do best – running your business.