It’s being referred to as ‘Mobilegeddon’ – Google’s deployment of a new tool to sniff out which sites are mobile friendly, and those that aren’t. According to the Financial Times, Google plans to roll-out its revised search algorithms that favour mobile-friendly sites in the latter half of April, and there are some surprising down-grades for some large organisations.
Perhaps unsurprising is the news that the European Union falls foul of Google’s search criteria. The FT reports that:
An online test provided by Google shows that the EU’s Europa website is “not mobile-friendly”. It contains text that is “too small to read”, links that are “too close together”, and content that is wider than the screen.
Mobile-friendliness is not predicted to change any results served up to desktop computers, but given the emerging importance of mobile the business case for many businesses will be to comply.
Among the criteria Google has set includes responsive design (i.e. no change in content for different devices), text that is easily readable, and avoiding content that is unplayable on some devices (most prominently, Flash video content).
Fortunately, Google has made an online test aimed at helping webmasters understand if their sites meet the criteria, or how they fail.