As Google announced on April 21st, the Google Search engine will deploy a major update that will affect results shown for searches conducted in mobile devices in all languages worldwide.
It is in fact, the first time Google has publically announced an update to its algorithm before it has been rolled out.As Google states, the impact could be larger than that of Panda and Penguin.
This particular roll-out could take days or weeks, so we may not notice changes right away.
What this update affects
Searches conducted only in mobile devices in all languages worldwide.
How will the results be affected?
Google’s Mobile Friendly Seo Update pages will be preferred in result rankings. Pages that are mobile-friendly will appear higher than the pages that are not.
Why is this algorithmic update considered to be “Good News”?
Starting from April 21st, Google’s Mobile Friendly Seo Update showing more mobile friendly pages to users in the search engine result pages, when they search via a mobile device. In addition to this, apps that are indexed by Google will begin to rank better in mobile search. According to Google’s announcement, the latter change will only work for signed-in users. Finally, Google will serve more mobile specific content to mobile users, making the whole browsing experience, more user-friendly for them.
Is that change a boost or a demotion?
This change is a boost, meaning that if a website has only a few or no mobile pages, it WILL NOT receive a site-wide “penalty” or demotion. Websites that include mobile friendly pages, will be rewarded in mobile results. Of course, the affect will depend on the market and the competition, meaning that if all the competition has already implemented mobile friendly pages and is therefore moved to the top of the results, the website that is not mobile friendly seo, will be moved to the bottom.
Will results for searches conducted in desktop devices be affected?
According to Google, NO. The algorithm will only affect mobile searches. Also, results from tablets, will not be affected either. As Gary Illyes claimed, Google has actually begun developing a separate new mobile-only index to keep mobile & desktop content separated.
Is this something completely new?
No, Google’s Mobile Friendly seo Update has already been implementing mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal since 2013. The major change that will be starting on April 21st, is that the use of this signal will have a heavier affect from now on, favoring mobile friendly seo pages in mobile results.
What should you do?
Make your website mobile friendly!
First of all, make sure to change the permission settings from your robots.txt file so that Googlebot can crawl.
If you are not sure whether your site is mobile friendly take the “Google Mobile Test” here.
Afterwards, check your Google’s Mobile Friendly Seo Update for mobile usability report from Webmaster Tools. This handy report shows all errors your website may be rending from mobile devices. Make sure the errors are resolved.
Ideally, the website should be redesigned in order to be responsive and cover the needs of smartphones & tablet users. However, as Gary Illyes claims, responsive sites do not have a ranking benefit, however it is the recommended solution from Google. Google will be updating data in real-time so as soon as Google picks up your new mobile-friendly website, you will be rewarded in terms of rankings for mobile searches.
Benefits of responsive websites
- Flexibility – Fluid design
- User Experience – the best user experience for every device of the users’ preference
- Cost-effectiveness – a single site for all devices
- Google recommended – industry best practice.
If going responsive is not a feasible solution for you there are other mobile site choices that work as well. Just make sure your website is mobile friendly!