On their official blog, Google has stated that misconfigured mobile webpages have lower rankings in mobile search results. Let's see what do we need to do with mobile content.
First, to clarify, misconfigured mobile webpages and not having webpages for mobile devices are different situations. Google will not penalize any website for simply not having any webpages designed for smartphones. Mobile webpages include any webpages to which the server redirects based on the "user-agents" used by a smartphone's web browser.
Now, let's see what will be considered a misconfiguration.
- Faulty redirects. These include redirects to irrelevant webpages. For example, redirecting all smartphone users to the homepage of the mobile site, regardless of which pages the users were trying to view, is an irrelevant redirect. Also, blindly returning a 404 error to smartphone users, even though the pages can be viewed by desktop computers, is considered a faulty redirect.
- App downloads. When viewed with smartphones, this misconfiguration disruptively promotes installing apps.
- Unsupported features. This uses features that are not supported by some smartphones, such as Flash videos (Android version 4.1 and newer, as well as iPhones, will not play Flash videos). Additionally, Google recommends using HTML5.
All of us know that the number of smartphone users is on the rise, so working on optimizing mobile websites is worth the effort. Moreover, the optimization is not just for higher search rankings: if you make the user experience better, you will naturally influence more people to do business with you.
© August, 2014