On 21 April, Google added a new element to its search engine ranking algorithm which some commentators are likening to Y2K. SEO bloggers and journalists have named it ‘Mobilegeddon’ in recognition of the widespread impact it is predicted to have – some are suggesting that up to 12% of mobile search queries will be affected.
Google’s intention is to start using a website’s mobile ‘friendliness’ as a ranking signal, so that websites which provide a good mobile user experience will be rewarded in the search results. The flip side is that websites which don’t cater to mobile users will lose rankings. So, although it’s not a penalty (like the previously well-publicised Panda and Penguin search algorithm updates), it should not be ignored.
This is not just another SEO/web designer ploy to market their services with over exaggerated threats. Google is really serious about focusing on the mobile user experience, and with mobile devices overtaking PCs to access the internet, it is hardly surprising.
The key points are:
- Mobile rankings will be awarded to sites which present a good user experience to mobile browsers
- Rankings will be awarded on a page-by-page basis (not site-wide)
- Mobile responsive websites are preferred
- Only Google (and Bing) organic search results are affected (excludes PPC and local search)
- Android user apps will also be seen in search results as part of the mobile algorithm update, (even when the user has not installed them)
- Free Mobile-Friendly Test is available which gives valuable feedback
There are plenty of Google resources freely available to anyone requiring more information on mobile usability: