With smartphones having risen to the the level of popularity they now enjoy, and more and more users making their phones a major, if not the primary way they interact with websites, it’s hardly a surprise that many sites deliver mobile-optimized versions of their content, designed to better fit on smaller screens and support the sorts of interactions favored by touchscreen input. But not every site has gotten the memo just yet, and it can be frustrating when you’re using your phone to pull up a page that seems to be doing all it can to make your life difficult: tiny text, or maybe a reliance on Flash. That’s why Google’s starting to point out which sites will work best on phones as users conduct mobile searches.
Starting this week, running a Google search from a mobile device will start highlighting results with a “mobile-friendly” tag, indicating which have passed Google’s cursory examination for compatibility with portable devices. Those include things like checking for pages that don’t use the aforementioned tiny fonts or Flash, as well as evaluating formatting to ensure that users won’t be forced to scroll horizontally, and looking at whether or not links are too closely spaced to be easily tapped.
You may not see this “mobile-friendly” tag pop up straight away, but Google says it’s pushing the feature globally over the next few weeks. English search results will get it first, followed by other languages.