Google: In Future, Pages With Bad Mobile SEO Won’t Rank As Well In Mobile Search

Google mobile app logoIs your site not doing a good job for mobile visitors? Better get that fixed. Sites with mobile experience issues won’t rank as highly in Google’s mobile or smartphone search results, in the future.

Bad Mobile Site? Fewer Smartphone Search Rankings, For You

Google’s Yoshikiyo Kato and Pierre Far said about the change in a blog post today:

To improve the search experience for smartphone users and address their pain points, we plan to roll out several ranking changes in the near future that address sites that are misconfigured for smartphone users.

They followed by sharing two common mobile configuration mistakes of many and suggested these search ranking changes will help import the smartphone search experience for Google users.

Faulty Redirects

The first issue is called a “faulty” redirect, when a page listed in search may redirect all smartphone users to the same single mobile page, rather than to a mobile-optimized version of the page they’re after:

Credit: Google

Credit: Google

Smartphone-Only Error

The second common mistake is that smartphone users, when trying to access a web page listed in search, get an error and nothing listed.

Optimizing For Mobile

Google also says that if you properly configure your mobile friendly pages, it will “improve the mobile web, make your users happy, and allow searchers to experience and experience your content fully.”

For more on mobile SEO read our Google mobile SEO recommendations story and our Google Mobile category.

Related Topics: Channel: SEO | Google: Mobile | Google: SEO | Top News


About The Author: is Search Engine Land's News Editor and owns RustyBrick, a NY based web consulting firm. He also runs Search Engine Roundtable, a popular search blog on very advanced SEM topics. Barry's personal blog is named Cartoon Barry and he can be followed on Twitter here. For more background information on Barry, see his full bio over here.

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  • Andy Kinsey

    it makes sense, especially on the all too common faulty redirect. they are just annoying and you would either just click back or spend 15 mins on what will always be a rubbish website trying to find the content that may not even be there.

  • RyanMJones

    I’m on board with this. There’s nothing I hate more than clicking on a news article, being taken to the mobile homepage, served a popup that asks me to install the app, Fat fingering trying to tap the small x and being taken to the app store, switching back to my browser, then being unable to find the actual article I wanted on the mobile version.

  • Brian Klais

    Looks like 2013 will go down as the year Mobile SEO finally got real. I see Google suggests “testing on as many devices / emulators as possible” to identify and fix faulty redirects… in our experience, that can be very time-consuming. We recently launched some free diagnostic tools to make this process a bit less painful, would love feedback from SEL community:

  • chromaniac Matt said that it would only affect rankings for smartphone users.

  • davidquaid

    Um, Matt Cutts said “may” – just because it makes sense doesn’t make it a logical progression. Lot’s of odd things make “sense” in the absence of other facts….

  • nikobogio

    what about responsive layout? would that resolve the mobile friendliness? or you need a dedicated mobile version along with a different url as shown in picture above?

  • Ahmed Khalifa

    But does this also apply to mobile sites which are not indexed?

  • Ian Simmons

    So, where is googles complete guide to properly optimizing mobile so these things are not an issue?

  • Michael Martin


    Guess you better take down or revise this article then – ;)

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