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2 Reasons Why the Mobile-Friendly Label Might Not Show in the SERPs

If you are at all following the search industry news you have heard about the big Google mobile update coming on April 21 of this year, one that Google has said will have a larger impact on the search results than Panda or Penguin.
One of the key recommendations that comes out of this is that you should test your pages in Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test Tool to see if your pages are deemed, well, mobile-friendly. You will get one of these two outputs as a result (number 1 if it passes, number 2 if it fails):
Mobile Friendly Test Outputs
In theory, if you pass this test, you are supposed to always get that mobile-friendly label in the search results, but it does not always happen. Why? I had a chance to show Google’s Gary Illyes an example of a site that was passing the test in the tool, but now showing the label in the SERPs. This is what I heard back from him:

There is more or less a 1:1 mapping, but there are also major differences:

  1. The tool is on demand, crawling and (re)indexing takes some time; in this case I *think* that’s the problem, i.e. we haven’t seen the mobile friendly version of the site yet.
  2. The tool can ignore robots.txt (because essentially it’s not a robot), but crawling cannot, so if they’re blocking some resources we need for rendering, that will be an issue.

The second point is particularly interesting. It turns out that there is a way to pass the test in the tool, and still have a page that will never get the mobile-friendly from Google in the results, nor the rankings boost that such sites are expected to get after April 21st.

Thoughts on “2 Reasons Why the Mobile-Friendly Label Might Not Show in the SERPs”

  1. I spoke to Maile Ohye and some markup (currently) bumps the mobile friendly tag (confirmed with Google engineers based on a sample from
    e.g. pagination, “jump to” app links, and video thumbnails
    Google is aware – suggestion was to remove pagination markup on mobile site in the interim, they *may* re jigger the mobile-friendly tag to over ride others.

  2. Need your help for the solution. I already change theme WordPress become responsive and mobile friendly but after around 1 week I still can not find mobile friendly logo in Google results page for my website. Many thank for your kind to help.

  3. Have you run your pages through Google’s Mobile Friendly test tool? If your pages passes that, you should be able to get the mobile friendly logo. If your page doesn’t pass that, the tool will tell you why it failed.

  4. I’m having the same issues with my site. We launched the responsive version on July 26th and on the 27th we had the “mobile-friendly” badge. A few day’s later it was gone. We did have a pop-up so I removed that on August 2nd. The page passes the test, still no badge. Any thoughts?

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Eric Enge

Eric Enge is part of the Digital Marketing practice at Perficient. He designs studies and produces industry-related research to help prove, debunk, or evolve assumptions about digital marketing practices and their value. Eric is a writer, blogger, researcher, teacher, and keynote speaker and panelist at major industry conferences. Partnering with several other experts, Eric served as the lead author of The Art of SEO.

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