Google has started sending a new warning alert to site owners who have not made their web pages mobile-friendly. The alert is shown directly in search results and also provides a hyperlink to a Google Help page about the importance of mobile literacy and its expanding use as a ranking signal.
Google has been sending notices in Search Console for some time, but it is now experimenting with more prominent alerts. The new warning is only visible to site owners when they are logged into their Google accounts and will be shown if Google knows that it is the search owner making the search. It will also only be visible on mobile.
The “Your page is not mobile-friendly” alert has been introduced a month before Google boosts its mobile-friendly algorithm again. The search engine giant revealed last month that the upcoming algorithm update will make it easier for users to find more relevant content on their tablets and smartphones but won’t affect those who have already made changes to their websites to tailor them towards mobile.
Google has been urging brands to shift their focus away from desktop to mobile for a couple of years now due to the huge rise of “near me” and other searches made from mobile devices, so it is no surprise that it is finding new ways to highlight this importance via additional reminders and warnings.
Google Webmasters Trends Analyst John Mueller has confirmed that the new alerts will only be related to mobile-friendliness for the time being, though it could eventually use other warnings to alert site owners to issues they may have with their site. These updates could be particularly useful for webmasters who don’t check their Search Console accounts for notices regularly or receive email alerts.
Google has also confirmed that it is now sending PageSpeed update notifications via the Search Console notification centre in order to let users know if they are running an outdated PageSpeed install. It then prompts users to update to the latest version. Google warns that older versions may be vulnerable to malware and hacking exploits.