Google retiring feature phone tools in Search Console

Google is retiring feature phone tools in Search Console. They confirmed the news on their blog. From now onwards, Google will not support crawling the web as a feature phone. Also, Google has removed the crawl error reports in Google Search Console.

Note: These changes will not impact smartphone.

Google explained the reason behind this step. Feature phones need a special form of markup or a transcoder for web content. Most websites don’t provide feature phone compatible content in WAP/WML anymore. Given these developments, they’ve made changes in how they crawl feature-phone content.

Google will no longer use feature-phone user-agents for crawling for search going forward. So they will no longer appear in your log.

So, if you have a website that serves content for feature phones through dynamic serving. Make sure that you have a self-referential alternate URL link for handheld (feature-phone) devices.

<link rel="alternate" media="handheld" href="[current page URL]" />

Check the updated documentation at Google’s developer site.

Google will continue to show feature phone URLs in search when they can recognize them. Also,  when they’re appropriate for users.

As Google is no longer using feature phone crawler, the crawl error reports for feature phones has been removed. Here is a statement by Google. “Without the feature-phone Googlebot, the Fetch as Google feature-phone options, and feature phone crawl errors are no longer needed.”

Before Update.

Google retiring feature phone tools in Search Console

After update.

Google retiring feature phone tools in Search ConsoleSo if your website does not serve feature-phone content, you are not affected by this update.