Google today announced the debut of a new “mobile-friendly” label on its mobile search results page. The company says the change will be rolling out globally over the next few weeks, so don’t fret if you don’t see it yet.
The new indicator is meant to show you which sites are optimized for your phone. You will only see the new label if you’re using a phone: it shouldn’t appear on the desktop version of Google Search, even if sites on the results page are indeed optimized for mobile.
Here is the label in action:
Google says webpages are eligible for the “mobile-friendly” label if they meet the following criteria:
- 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
The above four requirements are detected by Googlebot. If you want to see whether your site is eligible for the label, you can check your pages with Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test by dropping in URLs and hitting the blue Analyze button.
If your website fails, you’ll want to read Google’s updated Webmasters Mobile Guide documentation and check out the Mobile usability report in Google Webmaster Tools. The company also offers a how-to guide for third-party software like WordPress or Joomla if your website is hosted on a Content Management System (CMS) and you’d like to try a mobile-friendly template. The above links are currently only available in English but Google says translations are coming “within the next few weeks.”
This isn’t the first time Google has experimented with such a label, but it is the first time the company has decided to roll it out to everyone globally. For a long time now, the search giant has been experimenting with ranking search results based on whether sites are optimized for mobile. Google didn’t share any more details today on if and when the mobile-friendly criteria would one day become a ranking signal.