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Mobile Usability & Search


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Delivered by David Gerrard at Camp Digital 2015.

Published in: Marketing
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Mobile Usability & Search

  1. 1. David Gerrard MOBILE UX & SEARCH THE INEXTRICABLE FUTURE @callmegerrard
  2. 2. Mobile isn’t the future, mobile is now (and has been for ages) 43% 41% 16% DESKTOP MOBILE TABLET Internet Usage by Device
  3. 3. Google’s definition of mobile = smartphones
  4. 4. This does not include tablets, feature phones or multimedia phones Not mobile Still not mobile
  6. 6. The update started rolling out on April 21st, the whole process could take up to two weeks.
  7. 7. The impact will be larger than both Panda and Penguin
  8. 8. Unlike Panda and Penguin, the algorithm will run in real-time
  9. 9. It only affects searches made from a mobile device
  10. 10. But the effect on Android and iOS may be different
  11. 11. At launch, it’s only part of the main algorithm Local results, for example, not affected
  12. 12. It’s a YES NO assessment (it’s really simple)
  13. 13. It’s applied on a page-level basis DOMAIN.COM
  14. 14. Page speed will not be an initial factor
  15. 15. A label is displayed next to mobile-friendly pages Warning: some pages without labels may still be friendly
  16. 16. What we’re seeing so far…
  17. 17. WHAT CAN YOU DO?
  18. 18. Use the mobile-friendly testing tool
  19. 19. Who’s currently failing? Hint: loads of big players
  20. 20. Check your mobile usability reports in Webmaster Tools Account > Search Traffic > Mobile Usability
  22. 22. Analytics, Analytics, Analytics Custom Segment Conditions Device Category: Mobile Medium: Organic Source: Google
  23. 23. Check Search Metrics
  24. 24. Check Mobile Search Queries in WMT Account > Search Traffic > Search Queries Just remember that WMT data is delayed by a couple of days
  25. 25. THE CRITERIA
  26. 26. THE CRITERIA IS SIMPLE There are five main elements to follow
  27. 27. 1. Avoid unplayable content* (that means things like Flash and Silverlight) * Basically, don’t use incompatible plug-ins!
  28. 28. 2. Ensure content is not wider than the screen Prevent the need for horizontal scrolling
  29. 29. 3. Ensure links aren’t too close together Make navigational elements easy to click
  30. 30. 4. Text should not be too small to read without zooming This is another funny joke
  31. 31. 5. Configure the viewport Include a meta viewport tag <meta name=“viewport” content=“width=device-width, initial-scale=1”>
  33. 33. Don’t use app interstitials Use banners instead
  34. 34. Do not prevent Google from crawling CSS, JavaScript and image files They need them to see your site correctly
  35. 35. Don’t block your mobile site entirely Use rel=“alternate” and rel=“canonical” <link rel=“alternate” media=“only screen and (max-width:640px)” href=“”> <link rel=“canonical” href=“”> ON YOUR DESKTOP SITE ON YOUR MOBILE SITE
  36. 36. Avoid irrelevant cross-linking INCORRECT  CORRECT  Link to the closest equivalent page
  37. 37. Fix mobile-only 404s Ensure redirects are correct and necessary
  38. 38. Avoid faulty redirects
  39. 39. Think about page speed carefully
  40. 40. ONE MORE THING
  41. 41. Where Google goes… Bing follows BING JUST HIT 20% MARKET SHARE IN THE US FUN FACT
  43. 43. On the subject of mobile-friendliness… Take note of and adhere to Google’s mobile guidelines or risk losing traffic On the future… Anticipate the changing nature of mobile search and plan for relevant emerging technologies Think beyond the update… Plan for further emphasis on mobile usability in the future