Two weeks ago, Google began testing mobile-friendly icons in the mobile search results, next to sites that were mobile-friendly. Maybe giving a carrot to sites that adopted good mobile-friendly web site practices?
Yesterday, Google tried the opposite approach by testing non mobile-friendly icons in the mobile search results, next to sites that were supposedly not mobile-friendly. Maybe trying to use the “stick” approach, with negative incentives for web sites to deploy a good mobile-friendly web site practice?
Today, I spotted Google testing the carrot approach, positive incentives, but this time not displaying a graphical icon but rather a text phrase that reads in gray “mobile-friendly.”
Here is a screen shot I was able to see on my iPhone 6, running iOS 8, using the native Safari browser:
You can see, they even label the sitelinks as mobile-friendly.
Clearly Google is looking to label either mobile-friendly results or non-mobile friendly results. How they do it exactly is currently being tested. As we covered earlier, Google may be adding mobile UX factors to their ranking signals in the future.