Feeds

Google to punish sloppy mobile webmasters

Sick of 404s on mobiles? So's Mountain View

Boost IT visibility and business value

The Chocolaterie has decided, probably correctly, that users are sick of Webmasters that can't talk and chew gum at the same time. It's therefore issued an edict: if you're trying to run a Web-and-mobile site, do it right or get de-ranked in search.

It's not put quite so bluntly, but that seems to be the implication in Mountain View's announcement that there are to be changes to smartphone search result rankings.

Google's blog post uses just a couple of examples of configuration errors: faulty redirects or unrenderable video. The faulty redirects arise when the user clicks on a story, the web server identifies the user agent as coming from an iPhone or Android device, and instead of redirecting to the “mobile version” of the story, punts the punter back to the mobile version home page instead.

And videos – such as the infamous auto-plays that are becoming a staple of newspaper sites – are an obvious snafu: if you're presenting Adobe Flash video, it's not going to work on an iPhone or newer Android.

There's also the howler of incorrectly handling the mobile robot – which would, of course, automatically spoil the search rank of your mobile site.

“To improve the search experience for smartphone users and address their pain points, we plan to roll out several ranking changes in the near future that address sites that are misconfigured for smartphone users,” the post says.

Google's main advice is that detecting the user agent and redirecting to different HTML links is bad practice anyhow: far better, The Chocolate Factory says, to use the same HTML and use different CSS media queries for rendering.

Here's the full list of configuration errors Google is warning against, along with its full list of suggestions to avoid them. ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
The Return of BSOD: Does ANYONE trust Microsoft patches?
Sysadmins, you're either fighting fires or seen as incompetents now
Microsoft refuses to nip 'Windows 9' unzip lip slip
Look at the shiny Windows 8.1, why can't you people talk about 8.1, sobs an exec somewhere
Intel's Raspberry Pi rival Galileo can now run Windows
Behold the Internet of Things. Wintel Things
Linux Foundation says many Linux admins and engineers are certifiable
Floats exam program to help IT employers lock up talent
Microsoft cries UNINSTALL in the wake of Blue Screens of Death™
Cache crash causes contained choloric calamity
Eat up Martha! Microsoft slings handwriting recog into OneNote on Android
Freehand input on non-Windows kit for the first time
Linux kernel devs made to finger their dongles before contributing code
Two-factor auth enabled for Kernel.org repositories
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
BYOD's dark side: Data protection
An endpoint data protection solution that adds value to the user and the organization so it can protect itself from data loss as well as leverage corporate data.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?