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Google releases mobile-friendly update to its search engine

Google rolled out a mobile-friendly update to their search engine on April 21st. The update provides websites that are indexed by google as ‘mobile-friendly’ an advantage in search result rankings. This only applies to searches made from mobile phones. Searches that are made from tablets and desktops are not affected. If you are doing a search from a phone you will see “Mobile-friendly – ” indicated at the start of your search result description. Below is a screenshot of a search made for Be Better Studios on a mobile device.

Be Better Studios mobile search results

In Google’s words a mobile-friendly website is:

“A page is eligible for the ‘mobile-friendly’ label if it meets the following criteria as detected by Googlebot:

  • 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
  • Places links far enough apart so that the correct one can be easily tapped”

This update provides another reason why responsive web design is also responsible web design. If your website follows best practices in using responsive design techniques you should be fine. If not, this could be a good impetus to invest in making your site responsive. It’s safe to say that if your website is not already responsive or serving a separate mobile website to mobile users, chances are you are not concerned with mobile traffic and need not worry about this update. However; if you are one of these unconcerned website owners, serving a mobile audience with a friendly user experience is an excellent way to increase your website’s reach and lead-generating potential.


Read about the update here on Google’s Webmaster Central’s blog

Read a good FAQ about the update

Check to see if Google deems your site mobile-friendly

Read Google’s guide to building mobile-friendly websites

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