13.06.2013 in SEO by   0

Be Mobile Friendly or Perish : Even Google Says So

We have all felt the change in how we use the Internet. We are no longer tied down to our heavy desktops or not even carrying around our Laptops, but its our smart phones that feeds more than half of our connectivity needs. Not just social networks, but even when we are looking at other Internet usage, may it be reading up on a restaurant review, finding the hospital, some quick information on coccyx pain, most of our need for Internet connectivity is answered on our phone.

And if you are still not convinced about the fact, after reading the long wielded text above, here are some data points, that will drive the point through.

Looking at last six months data for two of the most heavily trafficked sites I manage:

Site 1: A B2B technology site : 38% of the traffic were on mobile
Site 2 : A Celebrity Blog : 30% of the traffic comes from mobile

Even looking at some of the other sites, I noticed that almost all sites are getting around 30% – 40% of their visits from Mobile users. Now that is definitely not a number you would like to ignore.

Day before yesterday Google formally raised the stake further for webmasters to optimize their sites for mobile with this post. To quote from the Google blog “we plan to roll out several ranking changes in the near future that address sites that are misconfigured for smartphone users.” – which can definitely be read as , if your website is not properly configured for mobile your Google rankings can take a beating, especially when it comes to users searching on their mobile.

While Google has already published their recommendation for smart phone friendly websites this time they also pointed out some common mistakes :

  1. Faulty Redirects: When accessed from mobile, some websites would redirect all their pages to the home page of their mobile version. This actually disrupts the users workflow and creates a bad experience. Instead they should be redirecting each page to their respective mobile version. If you do not have a mobile friendly format of that page/content, let the visitor see the desktop version – but do not send him back to your home page.

    Redirect-Example

  2. Avoid Smartphone Only Errors : Make sure that your users are redirected to mobile friendly pages, if they access the desktop content on their mobile. Also, ensure that the smartphone friendly pages are not throwing any errors.
  3. Handle Googlebot-Mobile  Properly: Do not redirect Googlebot-Mobile for smartphones to your website version optimized for feature phones. This will in turn redirect Googlebot-Mobile to your desktop version and result in an infinite loop.
    Googlebot-Mobile identifies itself as specific mobile devices and you should treat these Google bot user-agents exactly the way you would treat an user surfing your website on that mobile device.

There is no better option but to test your website on as many mobile devices as possible and ensure it renders properly .

The last line from the Google post again says, “will improve the mobile web, make your users happy, and allow searchers to experience and experience your content fully.” And if this is not an incentive enough for you to optimize your site for mobile, I don’t know what is.

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