Google Removes ‘Mobile Friendly’ Label – What Does It Mean?

Consider this something of a warning – a public service announcement, if you will. Just in case it happens to pass you by, you may soon become aware of the fact that Google is no longer using its ‘Mobile Friendly’ label next to certain search results. For quite some time now, the powers that be have made it clear that while mobile-friendly websites will be applauded and rewarded, those to the contrary will be punished and chastised. Which begs the question – what exactly is Google doing getting rid of these badges of honour for mobile-friendly websites?

Does it mean that the mobile-friendly algorithm itself has been taken out of business? That Google no longer intends to show preference to mobile-friendly websites?

Absolutely nothing of the sort. Instead, they are simply getting rid of the label as they personally do not believe it is any longer relevant.

If you missed the announcement…which would mean you’re still reading this article rather than skipping over it…Google basically stated that it was a move designed to de-clutter the SERP listings for those with devices with small screens.  Given that, in their own words; “85% of all pages in the mobile search results”, they’re essentially informing Internet users globally that you can safely assume that any mobile listings that turn up in Google are indeed mobile-friendly. It was back in November 2014 that the mobile-friendly badge was first rolled out – things have apparently changed quite a lot since then.

So for those on the business side of things, there’s absolutely nothing to panic about if you suddenly see your site being apparently stripped of its mobile-friendly status. This hasn’t happened – the label has just been removed. Still, if you’re deeply concerned that you may have strayed into dangerous territory, there’s always the mobile-friendly testing tool available from Google, or the Google Search Console’s mobile usability report. Chances are however, you really don’t have anything to worry about.

So it’s yet another sign that Google’s interests as far as the future is concerned are weighted primarily (or perhaps even near exclusively) with mobile. Which to be perfectly honest isn’t difficult to understand, given the way in which things are progressing in that particular arena.

Think about it:

  • There are now more mobile devices on Earth than there are human beings. At the last estimate, global digital analysists pegged the total as somewhere in the region of 7.2 billion devices.
  • Mobile devices are now driving around 49% of all mobile traffic. In the United States, this has already increased to 56% and is still growing.
  • Most consumers now use their mobile devices exclusively when it comes to researching purchases before actually purchasing anything.
  • Despite all this, focus on mobile marketing is still desperately lagging behind mobile media consumption.

Mobile isn’t the future for the simple reason that it’s already happening. As Google has demonstrated, it’s no longer a case of standing out by delivering a solid mobile experience. Instead, it’s doing so or allowing your business to be outed as the dinosaur it clearly is!

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