A single line added to Google's announcement about their mobile-friendly labels rolling out to mobile searchers said that Google is experimenting with using mobile-friendly criteria in their ranking algorithms.
We are also experimenting with using the mobile-friendly criteria as a ranking signal.
What does that mean? Only Google knows for sure. But we do know Google already has a mobile ranking demotion for the mobile search results. Google may currently demote a site that is not mobile friendly or is misconfigured when it comes to being mobile friendly.
This new experiment, I'd assume, is more about looking at the user experience around your mobile site. Stuff I said was coming in early October.
Google has come out with a new mobile friendly test application that will clearly show you what UX features they are looking at around your site. Plus their mobile usability report within Google Webmaster Tools. Look at those two tools and score well on them, that is what, in my opinion, this ranking experiment is all about. If you pass, you probably get promoted. If you fail, you probably don't rank as high.
Which Factors Would Be Included In This New Google Mobile Ranking Signal
The factors around this likely include some, all or more then what I list here:
- Flash not supported
- A defined viewing area (or viewport) that adjusts to the device’s screen size.
- Content that flows in the viewport, so that users don’t have to scroll horizontally or pinch the screen in order to see the entire page.
- Fonts that scale for easier reading on small screens.
- Links are too close together
- Easy-to-touch elements (e.g., buttons) that are well-spaced from other touch elements.
- Visual design and motion driven by mobile-friendly technology.
Will it be released? I honestly think so. How soon? I have no idea.
Image credit to BigStockPhoto for mobile seo icon