Are publishers ready for Google’s ‘mobile-friendly’ rankings?
Google said in February that it plans to factor in “mobile friendliness” into its mobile search rankings. The tweak, the first iteration of which hits 21 April, means that publishers with mobile-unfriendly sites — those with small text or elements that are too close together, for example — risk losing their top placement in Google’s search results on mobile devices.
Top publishers, for the most part, appear prepared for the change. Out of the US publishers in comScore’s top-100 rankings, the vast majority of them — including About.com, The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal, pass Google’s mobile-friendly test.
There are, however, some exceptions. One of the more noteworthy examples, Mail Online, the world’s most popular English-language newspaper, which is already well-known for bucking trends by not optimising its homepage for mobile screens, doesn’t get the Google seal of approval for its homepage. Ditto for Weather.com, which Google’s tool says features content that’s wider than the screen and links that are too close together.