Google, the most popular search engine constantly updates its search algorithm. It was no surprise when it announced that mobile friendliness of a website will be an important parameter while considering the ranking of the site on its search engine.
Year 2014 was the tipping point for internet access through mobile. Somewhere in 2014, the total internet users through mobile exceeded the desktop users. If it was some other era then we could have ignored the Google message regarding mobile-friendly site, but this is not the time.
The Giant has given some clue as to what it means by mobile-friendly website.
- Text of optimum size so that it is easily readable on a mobile screen (without zooming in or zooming out)
- Links properly spaced apart.
- Text on a single screen, so that you don’t have to scroll too much to read it.
- Not using software that are not commonly available on mobile devices.
So as a website owner, or a keen user, what we can do?
Google offers a step by step guide on making your site mobile friendly. To check whether your site is mobile friendly or not, you can use the webmaster tool offered by Google. You don’t need to login to check the performance of your site. We used the tool to check the mobile-friendly nature of some of the top sites and this is what we found.
As expected almost all the top ranking sites were mobile-friendly. Some of the sites that were checked were;
Facebook, YouTube, Yahoo, Amazon, ebay, Blogspot, Quora, Fifa, Apple, Microsoft, Live.com, Google.com and Google.co.in.
There was one surprising laggard though.
When we analyzed http://www.wikipedia.org/, this is what we found.
Taking a glance at the reasons provided by Google clears the doubt.
Links too close together
Another entry to the not so mobile friendly site is ESPN Cricinfo. The reasons specified are:
Content wider than screen | Links too close together
Cricinfo though offers its own mobile app for users who access its site on their mobile phone.
But what you should do, if your site falls in the category of Wikipedia or ESPN Cricinfo? First of all rejoice, as you are in great company.
Jokes apart, Google itself provides a solution to it. Just closely observe the total information provided by Google webmaster tool. On the right hand side, you will observe what you should do, based on your situation. If you need more detailed options then Google also offers a step by step guide on making your site mobile friendly.
Reading all this you might be wondering where does your favorite site lies in terms of mobile-friendliness? We will let the picture do the talking.
Tip: Once you are done with the mobile friendly nature of the site you should make use of another tool offered by Google, i.e., Google Pagespeed Insights. More about it, in our subsequent post.