In an unexpected announcement, to me, as well as others, Google has decided to remove the “mobile-friendly tag” that they have been showing in front of the page meta description in the mobile search results.
Speculation is that search results have become a bit cluttered, since they have added so many things to them recently, and to sort that problem out, that could be the reason they will be removing the mobile-friendly tags.
Removing the mobile-friendly tag seems like a strange reversal since it was implemented in the first place to help users identify those websites that would load faster on mobile devices. However, almost 85% of all pages in the mobile search results now have the mobile-friendly tag in front of them, so perhaps that cue is no longer needed.
Mobile Friendly Design Still A Must
While this means that Google will no longer be aggressively pushing the status of a website’s mobile-friendliness to its users, that doesn’t mean that mobile-friendly design is not a ranking signal anymore in search results.
It still is. And, it will continue to be. So making sure your website is mobile-friendly and responsive is still a must. Google will continue to provide the mobile usability report and mobile-friendly test on its servers.
Could AMP replace “Mobile-Friendly.”
Some SEO experts are also suggesting that this may be a step in not just uncluttering the search results but also towards pushing out Google’s Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) agenda.
Google may be planning to expand it from just the top carousel to the entire search results in the future. Now may be the time to consider adding AMP pages to your website, because they just may boost your search engine rankings at some point in the future.
If you need to inject AMP pages into your WordPress install, please feel free to contact us for details and pricing.