Google has been making strides to improve mobile search results to make the SERPS a better place for users searching on smartphones and tablets.
One of the more recent changes have been displaying a “mobile-friendly” tag next to sites in mobile search results that have been confirmed to display correctly on a mobile screen.
To earn a mobile-friendly label your site needs to pass a set of criteria. You can find out if your site meet’s Google’s standards or not by using the mobile-friendly site testing tool.
Now, Google isn’t leaving it up to webmasters to test their own sites, the company has taken to sending warnings to users who have verified their site via Webmaster Tools when their site is not mobile friendly.
If Google detects an issue with your site in terms of how it’s displayed or how it functions on mobile, be prepared to get an email warning that your site may not rank as well in mobile search results.
The email will indicate which site and which pages the issues were detected on, along with steps on how to fix the issues. The email also links to documentation on how to make a CMS (like WordPress) mobile-friendly.
When Google introduced its mobile-friendly site criteria late last year it was indicated that it may be used as a ranking signal for the search algorithms in the future. Perhaps these warnings are an indication that Google intends to roll out a mobile-friendly algorithm update sooner than we all thought.
If that’s the case, at least Google is giving site owners fair warning. If there’s one thing you do to improve your site this year, making it mobile-friendly should be a high priority.