Friend or Foe? How Google’s Mobile-Friendly Update Will Impact Retailers
Consider this as well: If Google can't crawl the mobile URLs, those pages cannot earn the "mobile friendly" label. Once upon a time brands were told to block their m-dot pages to prevent duplicate content. Some top online retailers still follow this practice. However, without the "mobile friendly" label, these mobile sites will become much less visible to mobile searchers.
If properly implemented, responsive design provides an efficient way to ensure pages earn Google's "mobile friendly" label. One of the keys is to avoid blocking bots from crawling the files that make the site operate in a responsive fashion.
One of the top home shopping retailers has a great responsive site, but blocks Google from crawling scripts. The site hasn't earned Google's "mobile friendly" label. Mobile shoppers may benefit from the responsive experience, but soon they'll no longer find these pages ranking for competitive terms.
Many retailers dynamically serve mobile-friendly content at their desktop URLs. If server logic doesn't exist to render each desktop page as mobile friendly, those URLs will not earn the "mobile friendly" label either. One of the largest online retailers uses this mobile method, yet has tens of thousands of pages that lack the "mobile friendly" label. These pages officially become at risk last Tuesday.
Note that this can be difficult to detect. Google's mobile-friendly testing tool enables single-page testing. To identify URLs that aren't rendering mobile-friendly content at scale, you may need to use automated mobile SEO tools.
Retailers with Android apps have a new opportunity to get app content indexed in Google, so searchers who have that app can open deep app "pages" from the search results. This is known as deep linking. Make sure your Android app has the code to take advantage. Pure Oxygen Labs found that fewer than 10 percent of top retailers have activated deep link support in their Android app.