Google Webmaster Tools

Digital State discusses Google Webmaster Tools.

Mobile usage is growing quickly as more and more people choose to view websites using their smartphone. If you’ve ever tried browsing websites via your mobile before, you’ll more than likely know that a number of websites are not optimized for mobiles.

If you are a webmaster yourself then you should know that your site needs to be mobile-friendly in order to improve user experience and therefore create and maintain interest in your site.

A site that is mobile friendly will be easy to read and navigate on your smartphone. On this site, for example, you will notice that the mobile version isn’t simply a smaller version of the site viewed on a laptop or computer.

For a start it is noticeable at a glance that the layout and the menu are different, making it easy to read and navigate by simply scrolling up and down and selecting whatever content you want.

The text is easy to read without having to zoom in or scroll left and right, making it easy for the user to view the content. Google said “Swiping left/right to search for content, zooming to read text and use UI elements, or not being able to see the content” are all things that make it more difficult for users to view the content. And if users cannot easily view the content, it’s likely they won’t bother viewing it.

So, it seems pretty obvious that you should optimize your site for mobiles since users will almost certainly be accessing it from smartphones. And now Google have created a new feature within Webmaster Tools so you can track your mobile usability.

Google have said that this tool will report on issues such as: “Flash content, missing viewport (a critical meta-tag for mobile pages), tiny fonts, fixed-width viewports, content not sized to viewport, and clickable links/buttons too close to each other.” So there’s no excuse for your website to not be mobile optimized.

What’s more, there’s even some speculation that mobile user experience may become a factor in Google’s ranking algorithm.

With strong recommendations to use such tools and other advice that appears to imply mobile user experience may become a ranking factor, it certainly won’t harm to follow their advice.