Google attach mobile utility reporting to their Webmaster Tools programme
In the clearest sign yet that they intend to add mobile functionality as a ranking signal for their search engine, Google have announced that they have added a new element to their Webmaster Tools programme which will allow you to track mobile usability problems on your site.
The new facility is entitled the “Mobile Usability Report” and is accessible via google.com/webmasters/tools/mobile-usability inside the Webmaster Tools programme. You can utilise the tool in order to identify standard usability problems with the mobile version of your website, so you are in a strong position to rectify the error quickly and enhance the overall mobile experience of it for its audience.
The main errors that the report will alert you of are ones relating to flash content, small fonts that are hard to decipher on mobile platforms, content not appropriately sized to viewport, links & buttons which are too close and devoid viewport meta-tags for mobile pages.
Speaking in Zurich, Google’s head of Webmaster Trends Analyst Team, John Mueller, commented on the release, saying he “strongly recommend you take a look at these issues in Webmaster Tools”. Whilst he didn’t give any official clarification over why, it seems pretty safe to say that the move is the biggest indicator yet that mobile functionality will affect a site’s ranking in the future.
Regardless of whether mobile usability will become an important ranking signal in the future, it is still important to optimise your site versions on mobile devices because the reality is that this is where web-browsing is moving at present. This means that a large percentage of your future traffic will come from mobile devices, and this makes it imperative to optimise your sites mobile user experience.
Whilst rankings may not be directly affected, they will nevertheless be impacted by your site traffic levels and it is for this reason that webmasters all round the world should start preparing for a Google announcement on this area. The age of the mobile is upon us, and the sooner members of the business world recognise this, the sooner they will be in a position to maximise their profit in-take from what is rapidly becoming the most profitable area to target your marketing.