Google added a new feature to Google Webmaster Tools today. Basically, the feature provides webmasters some insights on mobile aspects for their websites in regarding to user experience.
Here is how you can access to the new feature:
Basically, to begin, you need to have a webmaster account, but I am pretty sure if you are landing on this page, the chances are that you are pretty familiar with Webmaster tools. I am not going to go into detail on each of features that Webmaster has.
In this article, I am going to focus on the new feature/tool: Mobile Usability.
After you login to Webmaster, click on your website, and then go to Search Traffics-> Mobile Usability.
On that page, you will see a list of Usability errors. Unless your site is absolute perfect in terms of mobile usability, it is unlikely you will not see some errors.
Since this is the new features, it is very likely that it contains some bugs or might contain inaccurate data. However, it is a pretty good feature to have since most people are using smartphones now.
I just checked mine. To be honest, I was kind of surprised. On the page, I have errors of “touch elements too close” and “content not sized to viewport”, I think that is not a great way to name or categorize them, but they are pretty easy to understand.
So I clicked on one of two errors that I have, and it displayed a list of pages that have the same error. Well, since I am using WordPress, it is pretty much the case that if I have one error on one page, very likely, every page will have the same error, because it is using the same page template after all.
After that, if you click on one of the pages, a pop up will show up, on that pop up, it shows 4 options that give you all information/tools that you need to verify the page in regarding to mobile usability:
1. Confirm that the error still exists
2. Learn about sizing links and buttons
3. Optimize your page’s layout
4. Use responsive web design
The information is really useful in helping webmasters to adjust website elements on mobile.
In terms of whether such feature will become one of ranking factors, personally, I think it will, because it is part of improving user experience.
It might take hours or days to adjust some website elements and “errors”, but I think it might be worth it. Because mobile is the future, currently mobile traffic is large part of traffic. By improving user experience in mobile, it might increase traffic and lower bounce rate. So, my recommendation would be change whatever needs to be change to improve user experience.