SEO – Google’s new mobile-friendly announcement

On November 18th 2014 Google announced it will start ranking sites based on mobile-friendliness and will flag them if they are not. This helps searchers identify sites that are mobile-friendly.

In advance of rolling out this plan in two weeks, Google has set up a guide for developers to make their sites not only mobile-friendly but also searchable on Google. They also include a CMS guide.


Websites can earn a ”mobile-friendly” badge that is displayed with search results if the site avoids requiring software such as Adobe Systems’ Flash, which isn’t officially supported in later versions of Android or by Apple’s iOS.

A page is eligible for the “mobile-friendly” label if it meets the following criteria as detected by Googlebot:

  •  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

Am I happy about it? No. While it is inevitable, I don’t see why we are forced into it by Google.

Google also has a guide to the viewport meta tag to ensure mobile as well as accessibility:

  • Use meta viewport tag to control the width and scaling of the browsers viewport.
  • Include width=device-width to match the screen’s width in device independent pixels.
  • Include initial-scale=1 to establish a 1:1 relationship between CSS pixels and device independent pixels.
  • Ensure your page is accessible by not disabling user scaling

It has also created a Web Fundamentals guide that shows best practices – from Google’s point of view – of modern web development.