Gary Illyes, a Google engineer, spoke recently about user experience and how programmers and web webmasters should be focusing on it.
It’s called Mobile UX and it’s a kind of a big deal.
Recent comments to Search Engine Land also stated “We’re making a big push to ensure the search results we deliver reflect this principle.”
Earlier this year, it was announced by Google that they could fully render a website both in desktop mode and Google mode.
Webmasters are also noticing GoogleBot fully crawling and indexing the final rendered page, the page the user actually sees, not just the code.
So GoogleBot is starting to see what users see.
Why a Google Mobile Algorithm Change?
Why the big push for mobile?
To make the web better (experience functionality wise).
By changing the algorithm it guides webmasters to make the transition.
In another statement by Google to Search Engine Land:
“Because at Google we are aiming to provide a great user experience on any device, we’re making a big push to ensure the search results we deliver reflect this principle. We want users to be able to enjoy the web wherever they are.”
GoogleBot See What You See
Right now Google has the ability to scan an interface and see how a user would see different sizes of different elements (fonts, etc.)
They can also signify how a page would scroll for users on a mobile device and levy questions like ‘are the buttons large enough?’ or is the layout confusing users?’
So if the mobile version of your site has a smaller sized font and GoogleBot renders the page, they can tell, just like you would be able to.
Another HUGE example is the dreaded pinch and zoom!
GoogleBot is going to be able to check what the user is seeing or experience it and determine if it would be useful to the user (short answer: no).
*Just one of many reasons why we’ve been solely building RWD (responsive web design) sites for our clients since 2012*
Why Is Mobile So Important?
Let’s look at some reasons:
Better experience for users.
More likelihood of a user returning (compared to a site that was a hassle to navigate).
Mobile device penetration is now over 50% in the US!
More importantly – People are using these devices (on the fly) to search the web.
Is this a Ranking Factor Now?
As of today, no.
Today, Google does penalize errors on mobile sites. This began last summer (July 2013).
Google wants to use Mobile UX in far better ways.
So, no matter if the page is meant for desktop visitor or mobile visitor, Google would still be able to assess how effective it the pages are and reward or penalize accordingly.
Will it happen? All signs point to yes.
Google has been very good about “leaking” out info months in advance.
So, how do you prepare?
You can start by using the ‘Fetch as Google’ tool in your Webmaster Tools dashboard to test the mobile capability of your site.
This will check everything from the links, to the buttons and scrolling.
Another work around is to have your site updated to a responsive design so that it detects and adjusts to all screen sizes.
That’s one thing Jason Anthony Group does for all it’s new design and re-design clients. Contact us today for more information and a free consultation.
And even if by some chance this update doesn’t roll out it’s only going to help you deliver a better experience to your customers, clients and audience. Which, in-turn, helps to boost conversions and sales!