After spending months on testing, Google has officially launched the Mobile-friendly label in mobile search results. It is an effort to help the searchers know which websites have mobile friendly versions and which one do not have, while they are performing a Google search on their mobiles.
A text label that reads "Mobile-friendly" is added under the URL in the snippet. Google believes that it could be frustrating for the mobile searchers to end up on a website that is not mobile-friendly. The label will communicate this to the searcher.
Google is also experimenting with a new ranking algorithm for the mobile friendly sites.
How will you qualify to show such a label on your web pages? As told by Google, it depends on if Googlebot detects following criteria on your website.
- No or less use of software like Flash that are uncommon on mobile devices
- Text that can be read without zooming
- Automatic sizing of the content on the screen so that user do not have to do horizontal scrolling or zooming
- Links placed far enough apart so that the visitor can easily tap the correct one
Google has been giving hints that it understands mobile experience. Mobile usability reports were recently launched to help the webmasters find issues with their mobile sites.
Google is already penalizing the websites that are providing bad experience to mobile searchers. It has said that it is giving mobile friendly sites a special treatment within its ranking algorithm by introducing the label feature.
Here's what Google said:
"We see these labels as a first step in helping mobile users to have a better mobile web experience. We are also experimenting with using the mobile-friendly criteria as a ranking signal."
Google has not clarified if the new experiment will provide mobile-friendly websites better rank in the mobile search results. But, we believe that will be the case.
In June 2013, Google began penalizing the websites that were providing bad mobile search experience. The websites generating errors and other problems were less visible to searchers in the Google smartphone results. So, the penalty already provided a boost to the websites that were mobile-optimized.
However, it will be wrong to say that the websites that haven't earned the label have no chance of getting positioned better on mobile search. We believe that these websites will not also be penalized and there are chances for them to still have visibility in search results. Although, not as much as the mobile-friendly versions.
The new mobile-friendly label will continue to roll out over the next few weeks.Google Introduces Mobile-friendly Labels in Mobile Search Results!,