Mobile searchers will now be able to see whether sites are likely to be smartphone-friendly without leaving Google’s SERPs.
In a blog post published on Monday 14 July, Google announced it will “indicate to searchers when our algorithms detect pages that may not work on their devices”. The change was effective immediately.
In theory, the amendment will mean a variety of mobile-unfriendly website features could be flagged for searchers. Google’s blog post, however, focusses heavily on sites that use Adobe Flash. This is perhaps unsurprising, as the still-widespread multimedia plugin is not supported by iOS devices like Apple’s iPhone and iPad, or Google’s own Android operating system (past version 4.1).
Google gives an example of what these flagged results will look like in the SERPs, showing a link with its description altered to read “Uses Flash. May not work on your device.”
The user is then given a choice to “Try anyway” or “Learn more”.
Previously, Google has announced plans to penalise sites that aren’t optimised for mobile – and in 2012 pulled Flash support from Android.
The latest change is likely to have wide-ranging implications for web development professionals, as well as SEOs, as webmasters could see diminished click-through rates for sites that fail to provide a mobile-friendly user experience.
Internet Marketing News from ClickThrough – an integrated digital marketing agency offering web design services, web development, SEO, PPC, content, online PR and conversion optimisation.