Google announced on Tuesday that it plans to roll out “several ranking changes” in the near future, which address sites that are “misconfigured for smartphone users.”
Essentially, if your content provides errors on smartphones, your rankings are going to suffer.
“Some websites use separate URLs to serve desktop and smartphone users,” explain Google’s Yoshikiyo Kato and Pierre Far. “A faulty redirect is when a desktop page redirects smartphone users to an irrelevant page on the smartphone-optimized website. A typical example is when all pages on the desktop site redirect smartphone users to the homepage of the smartphone-optimized site.”
“This kind of redirect disrupts a user’s workflow and may lead them to stop using the site and go elsewhere,” they add. “Even if the user doesn’t abandon the site, irrelevant redirects add more work for them to handle, which is particularly troublesome when they’re on slow mobile networks. These faulty redirects frustrate users whether they’re looking for a webpage, video, or something else, and our ranking changes will affect many types of searches.”
Google advises that you redirect smartphone users from a desktop page to its equivalent smartphone-optimized page, and if the content in question doesn’t exist in smartphone-optimized form, show the desktop content rather than an irrelevant redirect.
Google also runs down a list of common smartphone-only errors you should avoid, and links to tips for redirects and recommendations for mobile content. Read the post here.