Last year, Google announced that it would start rolling out a label on mobile search results, called the Mobile Friendly label. Indeed, they did, and not only that, they have been emailing Google Webmaster Tools users a mobile usability warning.
Did You Get a Mobile Usability Warning email?
If so, Google is telling you that your site’s design and coding do not fully comply with the criteria for a mobile friendly site.
Here is what the email looks like:
These emails contain the subject “fix mobile usability issues found on…”
It then goes on to explain that your site has critical mobile usability errors pages on the site.
It also sends a warning that your website pages will be “displayed and ranked appropriately for smartphone users.” In other words, Google is easing in a new mobile ranking algorithm.
How Does This Mobile Usability Warning Affect You?
- Affected pages won’t rank well in mobile search.
- Your competition, who does have a mobile friendly site, will rank better than you do.
While Google hasn’t yet announced a mobile ranking change, this fits their usual pattern of warning signs prior to a new algorithm. This is on the heels of its mobile-friendly label roll out in November.
According to Search Engine Land, “This seems to go beyond the broken mobile site penalty Google had in 2013. It also seems to go beyond having problems with your mobile-friendly site – where it is targeting this communication to sites that are knowingly not mobile-friendly.”
What Should You Do?
Start by using the following tools to:
- Test the mobile friendliness of your site
- Get more details in your Google Webmaster Tools account
- Read Google’s Mobile Website Guide to understand what is necessary to meet the criteria.