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Mobile friendly websites are not always mobile friendly

15 Oct 2014

Clicking on a website via search results on your smartphone only to find it's not mobile optimised is one of the most frustrating user experiences a person can have when they are looking for something while on the go.

While some businesses not having a website is bad enough, upon learning a website isn't mobile friendly can lead to people thinking a company is out of date, unsuccessful or simply not tech savvy.

Google may be implementing a feature that is yet another incentive for businesses to make their websites mobile-friendly.

Google is testing an icon that warns users when a website is not mobile friendly in mobile search results.

The symbol – a grey phone with a slash through it - is designed to quickly tell users if a website is responsive to mobile devices.

While Google hasn’t announced when it will officially launching the feature, it previously began testing mobile-friendly icons, letting users know what websites were optimised for mobile.

Perhaps Google is testing to see if they get a better response from searchers with the mobile friendly icon or the non-mobile friendly icon, or even no icon at all. Either way, they are certainly planning on labelling mobile-friendly results or non-mobile friendly results.

The testing may not be completely accurate at this stage as the BBC has been labelled as "not mobile-friendly," but the news site actually has launched a mobile version.

A screenshot from @malcolmcoles showing the grey icon:

*As of today it looks as though they are trialling “mobile friendly” in text alongside search results.

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