Google has made it very clear that mobile SEO is going to play a big part in their plan moving forward. Last month, Google’s webspam team leader Matt Cutts stated as such during the SMX Advanced Conference in Seattle and Google’s own Webmaster Central Blog confirmed the changes will be here very soon. A recent update told webmasters, “We plan to roll out several ranking changes in the near future that address sites that are misconfigured for smartphone users.”
It isn’t like these changes are coming out of nowhere. Analysts have been encouraging site owners and SEO professionals to pay attention to their mobile sites for years and mobile traffic increases show no signs of slowing down. So, you would think most companies with a fair amount of resources would already be ahead of the curve, but a recent assessment run by mobile marketing agency Pure Oxygen Labs shows that the top 100 companies on the Fortune 500 list are actually in danger of Google penalties in the near future.
Pure Oxygen Labs used their proprietary diagnostic tools to evaluate sites against Google’s best-practice criteria, according to Search Engine Land. They hoped to see how many sites redirected smartphone users to mobile pages, how these redirects are configured, and how widely responsive design was actually being used to reach mobile users.
Only six of the 100 Fortune 500 companies had sites that properly follow Google’s best-practices. The report stated that 11 percent of the sites use responsive design techniques, while only 56 percent of the sites served any sort of content formatted for their mobile users. That means 44 percent had absolutely nothing in the way of mobile optimized sites or content.
The six that actually completely complied with Google’s policies included Google, so it should be noted that means only five outside companies were safe from future penalties at the moment.
There were multiple reasons sites were ill-equipped, but the most common problems were faulty redirects and lack of responsive design, both issues Google has singled out recently as their primary targets for future attacks on poorly configured mobile sites.