Google To Specify When Pages May Not Work On Mobile Devices

Google is going to start letting mobile searchers know when results include pages that may not work on their devices. For example, on a device that doesn’t support “Flash”,  (which includes Apple’s iOS and Android versions 4.1 and higher), Google search results on mobile devices will display a message with the result that reads:

“Uses Flash. May not work on your device.”

Google’s own Keita Oda writes: “A common annoyance for web users is when websites require browser technologies that are not supported by their device,”

Google’s Pierre Far also wrote: “When users access such pages, they may see nothing but a blank space or miss out a large portion of the page’s contents.”

Here’s what one of the results may look like:


What does this mean for you, the business owner?

  1. Make sure your web site’s mobile version is responsive. What is mobile responsive?A responsive website automatically changes to fit the device you’re reading it on. Typically, there have been four general screen sizes that responsive design has been aimed at: the widescreen desktop monitor, the smaller desktop (or laptop), the tablet, and the mobile phone.
  2. Make sure you are not using Flash or any technologies that could elicit this sort of response in search results from Google. It’s not worth it. Flash and certain video/multi media platforms that are not widely browser supported are a no-no.
  3. Stick with clean, intuitive designs, navigation, and elements. Visitors want information. Google likes to crawl pages that are easy to crawl. If you site is coded properly and uses all best practices in design, you should be covered.

Google also notes that you should not block crawling of any Googlebot of CSS, JavaScript or images with robots.txt or otherwise. If you’re following good SEO Practices, this shouldn’t be a problem anyway.