Internet giant Google is all set to roll out its mobile optimisation algorithm on 21st April and according to the company’s Webmaster Team leader Zineb Ait Bahajji, this will be the biggest update after Panda and Penguin. In the last few weeks there has been a rush among webmasters to make their websites “mobile friendly” and for the best part, Google is helping them make the change by identifying what mistakes many businesses are committing when it comes to mobile.
Here are the 7 Common Mistakes Webmasters Make
Solution: Use Fetch from Google Webmaster Tools to see how Googlebot is reading your content. You can also check robots.txt in Google Webmaster Tools and test your mobile pages.
2. Unplayable videos or Content
It is very common to see that many videos - particularly Flash videos - are not able to play on mobile devices. Just like your visitors, Google hates it.
Solution: You can start using HTML5 standard tags for animation. Also use video embedding that is playable on all mobile devices. You can also use Google Web Designer to create animations in HTML5.
3. Faulty Redirects is common
This problem arises if your website has separate mobile URLs. It will force you to redirect mobile users on each desktop URL to the right mobile URL. Sadly, many businesses do this the wrong way and they send every mobile user to their desktop homepage. Remember, it is bad to redirect a mobile user to a desktop link or page.
Solution: The fix is super simple. Simply use a responsive web design or theme. This is going to solve the issue for users of desktop and smartphones.
4. Mobile-Only 404s
Many businesses have websites with settings that users could access on a desktop, but when visitors they try to check that page from their mobile phone, they get a 404 error. It is important to make sure that your website has an identical page that can be served for mobile users.
Solution: Look for Crawl Errors report from Webmaster Tools and also check the smartphone tab to see if any of your URLs are 404 errors. Again, the simple solution is: Use responsive design/theme.
5. App Download Page
For those businesses having native app, you must ensure there is no indexing issues when you are promoting your app. Make sure visitors can still see your page's content and not the large app ad.
Solution: Use simple banner for promoting your app inline with the page’s content. Google recommends using Smart App Banners.
6. Extremely Slow Mobile Pages
Th headline says it all. If your mobile pages load extremely slowly, your visitors aren’t going to be happy about it. They will literally go.
Solution: Go to Google PageSpeed Insights and see what is behind the slow page loading and you will get tips on how to fix them.
Conclusion: When Google says something, take it seriously and if you are not sure what it really means to have a mobile presence, you can start using the things mentioned above. After you have fixed these common mistakes, you will see that the changes and your efforts were worth your time. If you have any questions on Google’s latest ‘mobile friendly’ website update let us know.