Google Webmaster Tools Adds Mobile Usability Tracking

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Google announced the addition of a new Mobile Usability feature to Webmaster Tools, which shows you issues Google has found with your site. It includes graphs that look at issues over time, so you can see any progress you've made.

The offering further underscore's Google's emphasis on the importance of the mobile experience to webmasters. If your site sucks on mobile, then it doesn't look good on Google's part either when it shows that site in search results. You don't want to sacrifice your search positioning just because you haven't taken the time to provide a pleasant experience on mobile devices.

Google Webmaster Trends Analyst John Mueller writes in a blog post, "A mobile-friendly site is one that you can easily read & use on a smartphone, by only having to scroll up or down. Swiping left/right to search for content, zooming to read text and use UI elements, or not being able to see the content at all make a site harder to use for users on mobile phones. To help, the Mobile Usability reports show the following issues: Flash content, missing viewport (a critical meta-tag for mobile pages), tiny fonts, fixed-width viewports, content not sized to viewport, and clickable links/buttons too close to each other."

Mueller adds, "We strongly recommend you take a look at these issues in Webmaster Tools, and think about how they might be resolved; sometimes it's just a matter of tweaking your site's template! More information on how to make a great mobile-friendly website can be found in our Web Fundamentals website (with more information to come soon)."

Earlier this month, we learned that Google is likely adding mobile user experience as an actual ranking signal, and the addition of the new feature to Webmaster Tools, would seem to confirm that.

Google has already been giving users notifications in search results when a result uses Flash. It's also been notifying webmasters about faulty redirects, trying to save users from tapping on results that would redirect them to the site's mobile homepage.

There's no question that improving the mobile web has been a major focus of the search engine in recent months.

Image via Google

Chris Crum
Chris Crum has been a part of the WebProNews team and the iEntry Network of B2B Publications since 2003. Follow Chris on Twitter, on StumbleUpon, on Pinterest and/or on Google: +Chris Crum.

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