Google has been emphasizing the importance of mobile design and usability over the past year and now the search giant has added mobile usability reports to Webmaster Tools. Many believe this could be a sign that Google may be making mobile usability a ranking factor sooner rather than later.
The tool is intended to show whether your mobile site has any of the common usability issues that degrade a user’s mobile browsing experience.
Currently, the tool included specific errors for showing flash content on mobile (which can also result in a warning on mobile search results for your site), missing viewport meta-tag for mobile pages, improperly small fonts which are hard to read on mobile, fixed-width viewports, content not sized to viewport, and clickable links and buttons spaced too closely together.
John Mueller from Google’s Webmaster Trends Analyst team based in Zurich said they “strongly recommend you take a look at these issues in Webmaster Tools.”
Of course, Mueller could simply be encouraging this because it improves user experience, but there is strong evidence to suggest Google will eventually make mobile user experience a ranking signal within search engine algorithms.
You can see an example of the reports below: