How To Trick Google Into Thinking You’re Mobile-Friendly

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If you’re a regular reader of my column, you’ll understand the title of this article is tongue-in-cheek. Clearly, I’m not encouraging anyone to recreate what I’m about to show you (as it leads to a very poor user experience). Rather, I am writing about it in hopes that Google will get wise to the issue and fix it.

The issue? Forcing a searcher to download an app in order to access content, and making that page mobile-friendly so it gets a boost in mobile search results.

If you play guitar, you’ve likely encountered this situation in Google; most of the results that rank well on a smartphone do it. Here’s an example:

The other day, I wanted to play “Chain Gang” by Sam Cooke on my guitar. It’s not a common query, but there are more than 200,000 smartphone searches related to “guitar tab” a month, according to Google Keyword Planner. And all of them could be subject to the same mobile (un)friendly experience I’m about to describe.

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