Google To Alert Users When A Page Won’t Work On Their Device

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Google To Alert Users When A Page Won’t Work On Their Device

When a user lands on a site that requires technology that is not supported by their device, the results can be frustrating. That’s why, effective immediately, Google will begin to point out to searchers when algorithms detect pages that may not work on the device they’re searching with.

For example, Adobe Flash is not supported on iOS devices or on Android versions 4.1 and higher. A page with mostly Flash content will be indicated to users with a warning that reads: “Uses Flash. May not work on your device.”

In the blog post announcing this new change, Google also says making websites that work on all modern devices is not that hard if you stick with a universally supported technology like HTML5.

Google has also announced two new resources design to help webmasters build websites that work on all types of devices:

  • Web Fundamentals: a curated source for modern best practices.
  • Web Starter Kit: a starter framework supporting the Web Fundamentals best practices out of the box.

Web Fundamentals contains resources and best practices which you can use to build a responsive web design. Responsive web design has long been Google’s recommendation for search-friendly sites.

Google also recommends not to block crawling of any Googlebot of the page assets (CSS, JavaScript, and images) using robots.txt or otherwise. When Google is able to access these external files then the algorithms can detect your site’s responsive web design configuration and treat it appropriately.

To see whether or not your site is being flagged in Google’s mobile search results, you can use the Fetch and render as Google feature in Webmaster Tools to test how your site is seen by Google’s indexing algorithms.


Matt Southern
Matt Southern has been the lead news writer at Search Engine Journal since 2013. His passion for helping people in all aspects of online marketing... Read Full Bio
Matt Southern
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  • Patrick Coombe

    Matt – love the throwback image. Reminds me of Netscape 4.0

  • Ravi Chahar

    Hi Matt,

    Google has brought such a great technology.

    It’s really frustrating when we try to open any app, website and it doesn’t work.
    With this notification system users will come to know about the compatibility of their device.

    Great post.:)


  • Emmanuel

    Hi Matt,

    I do think this shows how fast things are changing. Is that not so? Getting a notice telling you this page won’t work on this device of yours from Google I think is a great improvement from the end of Google.