Google now tells you if a website may not work on your device
Yesterday Google quietly rolled out a new feature to its search engine. Although this new functionality has not come with all of the coverage that a Panda or Penguin update does, I think this is a pretty significant update.
As of yesterday, Google will now warn you if a website won’t work properly on the particular device you are using. This warning will appear on the results page, before you even navigate to the website.
At the moment, this is restricted to websites that still use Flash content (yes, there are still some out there!) and the searcher gets presented with a nice message telling them that the site contains Flash, may not work and then asks if you want to ‘try anyway’. My feeling is that most people won’t and simply move onto to another search result.
Ok, so we all know that Flash was an outdated medium for the web, so why is this significant?
Well, Google already has the ability to tell how well your website will render and work on a mobile device. Going forward it’s not a huge leap to get to a time when a warning is displayed against websites that are not mobile friendly.
Google is all about giving the best possible search experience and with over 50% of all website page views set to be on mobile devices by the end of 2014 these warnings could kick in sooner rather than later!
So what do you need to do?
If you have a Flash website you need to act fast and switch over to HTML5 andCSS right now.
If you don’t use Flash but your website isn’t mobile friendly then you should start planning to address this over the next few months.
These days a responsive website is the best option as opposed to a separate mobile version of your site. Google has made it very public that they prefer responsive websites from a search engine point of view and consumers are likely to be put off visiting your website if it doesn’t work on their device.
Visit our web design page to see just how beneficial a responsive site could be for you.