Google's Mobile Usability Issues Explained

The way people browse the web is in a state of constant change. More and more people are browsing webpages on mobile devices, with more than half of the world's search quesries now coming from mobile devices.

This change has seen a growing importance being placed on providing mobile-friendly experiences, something which search engines are now increasing their emphasis on. Google is now actively penalising sites that are not mobile responsive. Understandably this has generated a lot of questions so we’ll answer some of these for you.

 

What changes are being made by Google?

Since 2015, Google adjusted their search algorithms in order to use mobile-friendliness as a ranking factor on mobile searches (those conducted on smart phones and tablets). This means that if you use Google to search for a site while on your smart phone, mobile-friendly websites will be ranked higher than those that are not mobile-friendly - see the Google Webmaster Blog for more details.

 

How can I make sure my site is mobile-friendly?

In response to the changing web habits of internet users, Create has its own suite of mobile-friendly responsive templates and continue to release additional templates. Using one of these templates will help your site's optimisation for mobile browsing.

See our HelpCentre Guide on "Responsive Mobile-Friendly Templates" for a list of those currently available.

 

How do I check to see if my site is mobile-friendly?

Google has released a handy tool to allow you to check your site which can be found here: www.google.co.uk/webmasters/tools/mobile-friendly

 

I’m using a responsive template but Google is saying certain pages are scoring low. Why?

This could be due to having your template disabled on certain pages - if this is the case then those pages will not be treated as mobile-friendly by Google.

You can check your page settings and ensure your template is displayed by following the steps below:

  1. Log in to your Create account
  2. Click "Content" from the Top Menu
  3. Click on the "Page Options" icon next to the page you want to check 
  4. Go to the "Display" tab and ensure "NO" is selected from the drop down for "Hide Template"

If you are using tables with fixed widths to lay out your content, this can also cause problems. You will need to make sure your table widths are set using percentages in order to allow them to re-size down.

We have a full guide in our HelpCentre - check out "How to layout your content for responsive templates".

 

Why is Google saying that resources are being blocked by robots.txt?

Elements such as Javascript are blocked by default by robots.txt, however these have no impact on your search engine rankings and are only used by Google to provide an example of how your site would be displayed.

 

What does it mean when Google says: "Eliminate render-blocking JavaScript and CSS in above-the-fold content"?

This message alerts you to content on your site that may potentially impact loading speeds. In order for templates to run correctly, certain styling elements must be loaded before the rest of your content. This means that your template would not function correctly if they were deferred as recommended by Google.

The scripts that run are very small and have little to no effect on your page speeds.

 

Hopefully this helps answer questions you may have about Google's email, but feel free to ask additional questions or raise other points from the email in the comments below.

We also have our Community Forum where Create users regularly discuss topics, and you can contact your Account Manager for assistance at any time.

1 Comment
Shirley Dixon Shirley Dixon
2 years ago

Thanks Charlie. Simplified and easy to read explanation.

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