Google tweaking ranking algorithm to punish sites with broken mobile versions

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In a perfect world, we wouldn’t need to have websites cater specifically to mobile users – browsers on smartphones would be fast, robust, and render content pixel-for-pixel the same as you’d see on your desktop. For a lot of reasons, that’s not happening, and instead we have to prepare special smartphone-friendly versions of pages in order to optimize the mobile experience. Google’s noticed that not everyone’s managing to do a very good job at that, and announced plans this week to adjust its ranking for sites that really fail hard at making things easy for smartphone users.

Let’s be clear: Google doesn’t seem to be targeting sites that are full-on agnostic to mobile users, but instead those that attempt to present a special mobile version, but take some missteps along the way. One key example Google gives is that if a server detects you’re on a mobile device and attempts to refer you the mobile version of its site, it should still direct you to the equivalent page on the mobile edition. For instance, if you tapped a link to this page on your phone, Google would want to see Pocketnow forward you to the mobile version of this post, not to the mobile version of our main page, or some other generic mobile landing page.

Other things Google’s going to look for are sites spitting-out error messages when mobile users attempt to access them, and those including smartphone-unfriendly content (no surprise – Flash is used as the example) on mobile editions.

Source: Google
Via: Android Police

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About The Author
Stephen Schenck
Stephen has been writing about electronics since 2008, which only serves to frustrate him that he waited so long to combine his love of gadgets and his degree in writing. In his spare time, he collects console and arcade game hardware, is a motorcycle enthusiast, and enjoys trapping blue crabs. Stephen's first mobile device was a 624 MHz Dell Axim X30, which he's convinced is still a viable platform. Stephen longs for a market where phones are sold independently of service, and bandwidth is cheap and plentiful; he's not holding his breath. In the meantime, he devours smartphone news and tries to sort out the juicy bitsRead more about Stephen Schenck!