Mobile & Apps

Missing Mobile Optimization May Prompt Google Demotion

mobile optimization errors and google demotionFailing to optimize your website for mobile visitors won’t just impact your traffic and prospective sales—it could also trigger a Google demotion, thereby decreasing your search visibility.

According to a Google Webmaster Central blog post published last week, Google is dedicated to helping mobile users “experience the full richness of the web.” As a result, Google plans “to roll out several ranking changes in the near future that address sites that are misconfigured for smartphone users.”

Yet the message from Google isn’t all doom and gloom. The search team identified two of the most common errors when it comes to mobile site optimization. Consider these your starting points as you check over your mobile site’s functionality.

Recommended for YouWebcast: Sales and Marketing Alignment: 7 Steps To Implement Effective Sales Enablement

Mobile Optimization Error #1: Faulty Redirects

If your website uses separate URLs to serve your desktop and smartphone users, make sure your smartphone link doesn’t lead to an irrelevant page on the mobile site. Here are a few examples from Google that illustrate faulty redirects:

faulty mobile redirects

To fix? Make sure that the desktop page redirects to a page that’s optimized for mobile users. If all else fails, Google recommends showing the desktop content rather than redirecting to an irrelevant page. Yet optimization is about delivering the best mobile experience to your users and customers, so why not take the time to give them the information they want, how they want it?

Mobile Optimization Error #2: Smartphone-Only Errors

Some websites include errors that are only seen by smartphone users. For example, desktop users might be able to access a URL, but when it’s viewed by a smartphone user, that person sees an error page. One solution? Navigate your site with your mobile device. Do you run into any problem pages? Slow load times? Anything else that might negatively impact a mobile user’s experience? If so, put those at the top of your “To Fix” list.

In fact, Google recommends testing your site on as many mobile devices as possible—you may run into some sort of error that impacts only a certain type of device or tablet.

Are you surprised that the mobile web experience will start to factor more heavily in search results? Or, given the rapidly growing number of mobile users, does this decision from Google make perfect sense?

Image: cogdogblog via Compfight cc

  Discuss This Article

Comments: 1

  • Thanks Shelly. More attention needs to be paid to mobile, and we’re glad to see a tech giant such as Google giving it more emphasis. But indeed this puts the technical and financial burden on the shoulders of individual website owners. This is exactly why we built our tool at to let anyone create a beautiful mobile website in just a few clicks. It’s free to start and our premium plan enables mobile detection and redirection, for those that want to set up their ‘m.’ sites, as noted above.

Add a New Comment

Thank you for adding to the conversation!

Our comments are moderated. Your comment may not appear immediately.