We’ve been told time and again that mobile Internet is the future, and no search company understands this better than Google.
“Starting today, to make it easier for people to find the information that they’re looking for, we’re adding a ‘mobile-friendly’ label to our mobile search results,” the company announced in a blog post today. According to Google, a site counts as “mobile-friendly” if it “avoids software that is not common on mobile devices, like Flash, uses text that is readable without zooming, sizes content to the screen so users don’t have to scroll horizontally or zoom,” and “places links far enough apart so that the correct one can be easily tapped.”
Google was already giving mobile-friendly sites a boost, at least in theory: Last summer, the company changed its ranking algorithm so that sites delivering errors on mobile devices would be ranked lower in mobile-only search results. Now, sites that emphasize the mobile experience get the extra vote of confidence on top of a favorable ranking.
For sites unsure of the strength of their mobile experience, Google provides a number of resources. A simple mobile-friendly test page lets users enter a URL and get a yes or no result, and for developers, the company provides a couple of guides and a mobile usability report, for reference.