How will the decision of Google to remove the mobile friendly label on search rankings affect you?
Google announced this month they have removed the “mobile friendly” label that used to appear directly under the URL in mobile search rankings. With over 50% of all internet searches conducted on smartphones (outnumbering tablet and PC web searches combined), this change will affect every business.
Google introduced the “mobile friendly” label two years ago to help users identify mobile compatible websites. However, the criteria used to determine if a site was “mobile friendly” was so broad that nearly all website URL’s qualified. This did little to help users determine a site’s mobile website worthiness.
Now that Google have removed the “mobile friendly” label, users are even more in the dark as to whether a website is truly:
mobile compliant, or
not mobilised at all.
The simplest and best way to communicate to mobile web users that your website is mobile friendly is to have a dedicated M Dot website URL. This is a mobile specific version of your website that is independently built and hosted yet shares your usual www dot URL. For example m.boostjuice.com.au. Dedicated M Dot websites do use responsive design – responsive merely re-hashes your existing desktop built website, stretching it all over the smartphone.
The use of canonical tags ensures that your desktop and mobile website are treated as one for SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) purposes. The canonical tags tell the search engine that the two websites are actually the same, which then lifts your search ranking.
The added bonus when opting for a dedicated mobile website is any sized business can elect to hand choose the content that is considered critical to mobile users (for example, Click To Call / Directions / Dinner Menu / Images) without unnecessary content or compromising load times – two problems for sites using
A dedicated M DOT URL will not only signify to users your business has the ultimate mobile web experience, but it will also reward your mobile website SEO organic ranking.
WHAT TO DO NEXT: Grab your smartphone and Google search your business to see how you rank next to your competitors.
Wes Garth, Founder and Director, Red Pants Mobile Websites