“Most of us carry at least one device, all the time, everyday.
In fact many of us would feel naked without our smartphone.
It’s hardly surprising mobile search queries & mobile commerce
Are growing dramatically in the world.”
-Larry Page (Co-founder Google Inc)
With the ever increasing dependence on mobile phones for almost everything right from accessing content to uploading it, finding best answers in the shortest possible time in the search queries is the need of the hour. Keeping this trend in mind, Google has come up with two major changes in order to make mobile search easier & faster for the users.
Simplifying The Search Results On Mobile
2 years ago, Google added a feature called mobile friendly labels so as to help users find pages in which the content & the text was readable without zooming & the tap targets were appropriately spaced. Since then, almost 85% of all the pages in the mobile search results now meet this criteria & show mobile friendly label.
In order to simplify the mobile search further, the labels would now be removed in order to keep the search results uncluttered. However, the mobile friendly criteria would continue to be a ranking signal. Mobile usability report in Search Console as well as the mobile-friendly test would continue to help webmasters evaluate the effect of the mobile-friendly signal on their pages.
Helping Users To Access The Content They Are Looking For Without Any Intrusive Interstitials
Although the pages now contain text that is readable without zooming, but there are numerous cases where the pages show intrusive interstitials. While the content is there on the page & is available to be indexed by Google, it get visually obscured by interstitials leading to frustration & poor user experience. This can further be a problem especially on mobiles where the screen is small.
To overcome this, after 10 January, 2017, pages where the content is not easy to access on mobile would not rank as highly. Some techniques used by pages to obscure accessibility of content are:
- Showing a popup window
- Displaying a standalone interstitial
- Using a layout where above-the-fold portion appears to be a standalone interstitial.
However, some interstitials that would not be affected by this new signal would be:
- Interstitials in response to a legal obligation, such as cookie usage or age verification.
- Login dialogs on sites where content is not publicly indexable.
- Banners that use a reasonable amount of screen space and are easily dismissible.
This is to be noted, that the above criteria is among hundreds of other criterias. So a page may still rank high if it has great & relevant content to offer to its audience base.