Google To Start Alerting Mobile Search Users To Flash-Heavy Sites

What Google mobile search results will look like for sites with heavy Flash content.

What Google mobile search results will look like for sites with heavy Flash content.

You know what’s really great? When you’re trying to access a website on your phone and the page you’re looking at uses Flash, which is not supported on iOS devices and hasn’t been supported on Android since version 4.1 started rolling out in 2012. In an effort to preempt user frustration (and nudge sites to upgrade their mobile experiences), Google is now including information about unsupported technology on a site when it turns up in mobile search results.

So if you Google a site that uses a lot of Flash and you’re on a device that doesn’t support Flash, you’ll see a result like the one pictured above, telling the user that they may be going to a site that doesn’t function properly on mobile.

It’s both a helpful note to users and a way for Google to remind developers to use HTML5, which works on both iOS and Android devices. After all, Google has a financial stake both in providing quality results and in providing a mobile operating system that consumers are happy with.

The switch to HTML5 has been a huge boon for mobile browsing. When smartphones first launched, many websites either would not display properly on these devices or were stripped down to mere text links. While most major sites have long since upgraded to be more mobile-friendly, there are still plenty of older sites that still refuse to play nice with phones and tablets.

To that end, Google is offering resources for webmasters who need to do some online renovation.

[via GigaOM]