Google Search Alerts Mobile Users to Badly Coded Sites
Mobile users will get messages from Google explaining why Websites don't easily appear on their devices. Google hopes businesses will fix their code.Google Search launched a service that will alert mobile device users when they find a Website that won't be fully compatible with their devices so they can learn why the sites they are seeking aren't working properly. The new alerts, which are showing up in brief text notices in Google Search, are being created by Google algorithms when Web pages are detected that include code that won't work on their devices, according to a July 14 post by Keita Oda, a Google software engineer, and Pierre Far, a Google webmaster trends analyst, on the Google Webmaster Central Blog. "A common annoyance for Web users is when Websites require browser technologies that are not supported by their device," wrote Oda and Far. "When users access such pages, they may see nothing but a blank space or miss out [on] a large portion of the page's contents." That nagging problem is being addressed by the new alerts, which will describe when such issues arise, they wrote. One example of this, they wrote, is that since Adobe Flash is not supported on iOS devices or on Android versions 4.1 and higher, a page whose contents are mostly Flash may generate a note to a Google Search users that states "Uses Flash. May not work on your device." Users may then get an option to "try anyway" or to "learn more," the post explains.
To avoid these kinds of messages to users, Web developers need to fix their sites so these types of conflicts stop occurring, wrote Oda and Far. "Fortunately, making Websites that work on all modern devices is not that hard: Websites can use HTML5 since it is universally supported, sometimes exclusively, by all devices."