Make your site mobile-friendly
The world is mobile today. Most people are searching on Google using a mobile device. The desktop version of a site might be difficult to view and use on a mobile device. As a result, having a mobile ready site is critical to your online presence. In fact, starting in late 2016, Google has begun experiments to primarily use the mobile version of a site’s content42 for ranking, parsing structured data, and generating snippets.
Understand the difference between devices
- Smartphone – In this document, “mobile” or “mobile devices” refers to smartphones, such as devices running Android, iPhone, or Windows Phone. Mobile browsers are similar to desktop browsers in that they can render a broad set of the HTML5 specification, although their screen size is smaller and in almost all cases their default orientation is vertical.
- Tablet – We consider tablets as devices in their own class, so when we speak of mobile devices, we generally do not include tablets in the definition. Tablets tend to have larger screens, which means that, unless you offer tablet-optimized content, you can assume that users expect to see your site as it would look on a desktop browser rather than on a smartphone browser.
- Feature phones – On these phones, browsers lack the capability to render normal desktop web pages coded using standard HTML. This includes browsers that render only cHTML (iMode), WML, XHTML-MP, etc.
Our recommendations are geared toward smartphones, but we encourage multimedia and feature phones site owners to follow the same advice where they feel appropriate.
Choose a mobile strategy
There are multiple ways of making your website mobile ready and Google supports different implementation methods :
After you have created a mobile-ready site, you can use Google’s Mobile-friendly test46 to check if pages on your site meet the criteria for being labeled “Mobile-friendly” on Google Search result pages. You can also check out the Search Console Mobile Usability report47 to fix mobile usability issues affecting your site.
If your site serves lots of static content (like blog posts or product landing pages) across multiple pages, consider implementing it using AMP48 (Accelerated Mobile Pages). It’s a special flavor of HTML that ensures your site stays fast and user friendly, and can be further accelerated by various platforms, including Google Search.
Configure mobile sites so that they can be indexed accurately
Regardless of which configuration you choose to set up your mobile site, there are key points that you should take note of:
- If you use Dynamic Serving or have a separate mobile site, signal to Google when a page is formatted for mobile (or has an equivalent page that’s formatted for mobile). This helps Google accurately serve mobile searchers your content in search results.
- If you are using Responsive Web Design, use meta name=”viewport” tag to tell the browser how to adjust the content. If you use Dynamic Serving, use the Vary HTTP header to signal your changes depending on the user-agent. If you are using separate URLs, signal the relationship between two URLs by <link> tag with rel=”canonical” and rel=”alternate” elements.
- Avoid common mistakes that frustrate mobile visitors, such as featuring unplayable videos (for example,, Flash video as the page’s significant content).
- Mobile pages that provide a poor searcher experience can be demoted in rankings or displayed with a warning in mobile search results. This includes but is not limited to full page interstitials49 on mobile that hinder user experience.
- Provide full functionality on all devices. Mobile users expect the same functionality – such as commenting and check-out – and content on mobile as well as on all other devices that your website supports. In addition to textual content, make sure that all important images and videos are embedded and accessible on mobile devices. For search engines, provide all structured data and other metadata – such as titles, descriptions, link-elements, and other meta-tags – on all versions of the pages.
- Make sure that the structured data, images, videos, and metadata you have on your desktop site are also included on the mobile site.
- Test your mobile pages with the Mobile-Friendly Test50 to see if Google thinks your website works well on mobile devices.
- If you use separate URLs for your mobile pages, make sure to test both the mobile and the desktop URLs, so you can confirm that the redirect is recognized and crawlable.
For more information, see Google’s mobile-friendly guide.51