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Google To Roll Out Mobile Friendly Algorithm Change

Google To Roll Out Mobile Friendly Algorithm Change

You may or may not of heard that Google is going to start rolling out an algorithm change on 21st April 2015 that could have a great deal of impact on our search results. The algorithm change in Google’s own words is that they will be using “Mobile Friendliness” as an expanded ranking signal.

So in short this means that Google will favour a website which either has a repsonsive design or a mobile specific design. If you are simply not sure if your website is mobile friendly or not then you can use Google’s Mobile Friendly Checker to take a look for yourself. If your website is not compliant then it will offer some solutions as to what you need to do. The test is not 100% perfect (Google admits this by adding in a feedback form) but it will give you a good level at which to work on improvements.

How Hard Will The Google Mobile Friendly Update Affect Your Site

To be honest at this stage it is very hard to say. You can read the information about the update yourself in Google’s own words in their webmaster central blog post. As you can see for yourself they are as elusive as ever with giving definitive answers. However, to put it bluntly the Zont SEO website is not mobile friendly. It is not something we have really worried about before because most people reading our site are on desktops and laptops because they are using SEnuke at the same time. So we will be able to report the exact impact of the algorithm update when it occurs.

One thing I would recommend if you are affected by the update is not to panic straight away. The reason for this is that on every single update Google roll out they tweak it after it has gone live. This means that for a day or so your rankings might well bomb but they also might recover with a few days as Google tweak things. Also one thing to remember is that the update is not an instant thing and is being rolled out beginning the 21st of April, normally roll outs take a few days to a week to go Global but normally Google.com will be the first to show the updates.

How Significant Is This Update

This algorithm change in Google’s words will be “significant” as Google shows the first signs of acceptance that Mobile computing is ever growing and having your website in a Mobile Friendly format is providing the users with the best possible user experience. So exactly how significant will this update be?

To put it into perspective the previous changes that Google have called significant have been to do with Linking in 2009, Site Markup in 2010, crawling and Panda both in 2012. So judging by this we have to assume that it is going to make a real change in the SERP real estate outlook. The overall feeling is that this algorithm update will actually be bigger in terms of impact than both Panda or Penguin. Of course, in general for the way we do things Panda and Penguin will be more likely to affect us because they are to do with links, but this one we know for sure will affect us as well because we are not mobile friendly at this stage.

One major point to note is that Google’s Gary Illyes has stated that they will be assessing websites on a page by page basis rather than on a website by website basis. So exactly what does this mean? Well it is as simple as if you have some internal pages which are mobile friendly and some which are not then Google will promote the pages that are mobile friendly.

Will My Desktop Rankings Be Affected By This Algorithm Change

Google has claimed not, or at least not at this stage. Although they didn’t say, they did say it is advisable to start making your website totally website friendly which we would take as a hint that eventually it will do. However at this stage it looks like making an identical search from a mobile device will return totally different results to what you would be seeing on a laptop or desktop. But this is something that we will have to take on face value and assess for ourselves when the update is rolled out.

 

Why Is Google Making These Changes Now

As much as we think Google’s sole intention is to annoy us as marketers, there No1 goal is to present there users (searchers) with the best user experience. This means that many things are taken into account from relevance, mobile friendliness, site load speed etc. So if a user is using mobile technology then the sites that they view should be properly compliant with the update. In all honesty as much as it is an annoyance it is really a common sense update and as things progress in the way of search we all knew something like this is on the way.

We will actually report here on the affects of the update as we will leave our site as it is to notice the (probable) drop in mobile traffic and when we launch Zont SEO V2 in time for TNG launch this will be mobile friendly so we will be able to show what a difference this will actually make when jumping to a responsive design.

 

Rudi

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2 Comments

  1. You know I find certain aspects of this odd, it would have made more sense a few years ago, these days we have phones with full HD, or even higher, screens so many people really don’t need special mobile versions anymore. To be honest I find it most annoying when I get a mobile version on a modern smartphone.

    Oh and before anybody runs the test no Zont will not pass 🙂 I have actually specifically turned off the features that would have let us pass because I think the site works better this way… Perhaps that choice will have to be reviewed though.

  2. If your site is wordpress just add the plugin wptouch. It creates an instant mobile version of your site that passes Google’s test. It takes about 30 seconds in total per site to install and works straight away. Another alternative is the plugin wpsmart.

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