Mobile Friendly

What does it mean to be “mobile friendly”?

“Mobile-friendly” refers to how well a website displays on small screened devices such as mobile phones, tablets, and even small laptop screens. The website can generally be categorized as either mobile friendly or not mobile friendly. To be truly mobile friendly, all content of a website should display on mobile devices without the need for any pinching or zooming to read content and buttons and links should be easy to interact with by a tap on a screen. Mobile friendliness also generally includes the speed in which a site loads on mobile devices. A site should be able to load quickly on mobile devices.

What does mobile friendly look like?

Below is an example provided by Google, which shows a site that is not mobile-friendly on the left and a site that is mobile friendly on the right. On the left, a full desktop version of the site loads, even on a mobile device. In order to read the text, one would have to zoom in, thus requiring scrolling and an overall cumbersome navigational experience. The mobile-friendly version of the site stacks the content and the text expands to fill the space making the viewing experience much more useful.

A site’s mobile friendliness has an impact on search rankings

In April of 2015, Google began using mobile friendliness as a ranking signal in their search results. In order to rank well on searches performed on mobile devices, Google now emphasized the mobile friendliness of a website.

In March of 2016, Google announced that beginning in May, they would increase the mobile friendly ranking signal to help searches find even better results when searching on mobile devices.

What to do if your site isn’t mobile friendly

We have a blog post that refers to the three most popular ways of making a site mobile friendly: Mobile-only website, Responsive web design (RWD), and Adaptive web design (AWD). Each has its pros and cons but responsive web design is the most popular and has become the standard.

If you’re looking for a definitive answer about your website’s mobile friendliness, try putting your URL into Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test tool.

mobile friendly test tool


« Navigate to Glossary Index