Google: The Mobile Friendly Icons Confused Searchers Initially

Jan 17, 2017 - 8:06 am 2 by
Filed Under Google

Mobile3 Google 1900px

Google's John Mueller said in a YouTube hangout on the other day at the 9:20 mark into the video that when Google launched the mobile friendly label in the mobile search results, it confused searchers. They didn't click on the mobile friendly results because they didn't know what to make of it and it took time for searchers to understand what they meant.

In fact, he said the green smartphone icon test may have confused searchers thinking that if they clicked it, it would call the webmaster. Here is that icon:

Google Mobile Icon Serps

John said "if we showed a green smart phone, it doesn’t mean we will call the owner of the web site but rather, this is probably a search result that is relevant to you."

Interesting to see how small things make such a big impact in the Google results.

Here is the video embed:

Here is the transcript:

I remember when we initially launched the label for mobile friendly sites.

We tried a variety of different things from text to symbols to positive labels to negative labels and pretty much what we noticed is as soon as we made a change, people were confused and they weren’t clicking on the mobile search results, even though they are on a mobile device and it seemed like whatever we were doing was just confusing them more.

So what we noticed was that depending on what we were doing, it took a bit of time for people to understand what that actually means.

So if we showed a green smart phone, it doesn’t mean we will call the owner of the web site but rather, this is probably a search result that is relevant to you. or if we had a cross out smart phone, you can understand that this is something that is not mobile friendly, so maybe it is not so useful on your smartphone.

But these are things that if you look at the metrics immediately after the launch, you would see all kinds of crazy things. So with regards to bounce rate, or click through rate, you’ll see all of this confusion happening and it is something that takes a while to settle down. And even monitoring how long it takes to settle down, that can be useful as well.

Forum discussion at YouTube.


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