The term "Mobile-friendly" was introduced by Google in November 2014 to distinguish those links that led to pages that were optimized for mobile devices amongst search results. With changes to ranking order as from April 2015, Google has gone a step further, rewarding "mobile-friendly" websites with better placings in searches made from mobile devices.
Google has made it clear, in official communications, that being "mobile-friendly" is only one of over 200 factors are that considered when turning out search results. In addition, it also specifies that websites that are not "mobile-friendly" won't disappear from search results on mobile devices, and could even be well-placed if they contain quality content that satisfies people's needs.
The fact remains that a "mobile-friendly" website assumes an added importance for both users, who can enjoy a better navigating experience, and webmasters, who gain places in the rankings and enjoy a lower website bounce rate.
A website must fulfill the following requirements to be considered "mobile-friendly":
|▪||It mustn't use uncommon software for mobile devices, such as Flash;|
|▪||Text must be legible without having to zoom in;|
|▪||Contents are sized to the screen so visitors don't have to scroll horizontally or zoom;|
|▪||Links must be far enough apart so that visitors can tap the one they want without difficulty.|
Google provides a useful online tool for checking whether web pages meet the mobile-friendly requirements, at https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/mobile-friendly/
You can also find a lot of useful information in Google's Mobile Guide for webmasters, at https://developers.google.com/webmasters/mobile-sites/
Google says in this guide that there are a number of different possible configurations for websites that are intended for mobile devices, including:
|▪||Responsive Web Design - The same HTML code is used in the same URL, regardless of the user's device (desktop computer, tablet, cell phone, non-visual browser), adapting the display to the screen size. This is the design that Google recommends.|
For more information on designing responsive websites with WebSite X5, see: How to create a responsive website.
|▪||Separate URLs - Each device type has its own code and its own URL. This configuration tries to detect the user's device and redirect it to the appropriate page.|
For more information on this configuration, see: How to create the desktop and mobile versions of a website