Google is announcing today that websites that are optimized for mobile will now factor into ad quality. The company says that last year it began to limit ad serving on smartphone devices if they pointed to landing pages with Flash-heavy content, in order to improve the experience for users. Now the search giant will be considering the mobile optimization of a website as a new factor of mobile ads quality for all AdWords campaigns that are driving mobile traffic.
As a result of this change, ads that have mobile optimized landing pages will perform better in AdWords and drive more traffic. The core guidelines for landing page quality apply across devices (on desktop and on mobile) but this consideration will only affect AdWords on mobile devices.
For background, Google’s landing page quality for mobile sites factors in site navigability, simple layout, content prioritization, mobile features, touch features, minimal flash, landing page load time. Landing page quality is one of several factors that determine an advertiser’s keywords’ Quality Scores.
As Google says, a poor mobile web experience can negatively shape a consumer’s opinion of a brand or company and make it hard for them to engage or make a purchase. In fact, 61% of users are unlikely to return to a website that they had trouble accessing from their phone.
Unsurprisingly, Google is pushing its own mobile site creator, through Google Sites, on publishers and site owners who want to create a simple mobile website. Considering the holiday shopping season is getting closer, retailers may want to be sure their sites fit into Google’s landing page guidelines. Certainly, this year more than ever, holiday shoppers will be using their mobile phones for search and purchasing.