Google Mobile Update Round 2

By 26th May 2016Responsive

Just over a year ago, everyone was talking about the Google mobile update algorithm. In fact, the 21st of April 2015 was touted as “Mobilegeddon” or “Mobilepocaypse”. Regardless of what it was called, it was supposed to be the end of unfriendly mobile websites or at least that’s what most of us believed.

Mobile updates by Google

 

A year later, we know the truth. While it did have some affect on Google’s mobile search engine results, it wasn’t what we hoped for. It’s true that mobile friendly websites did see a bit of improvement and non mobile friendly websites were impacted, but, again, it wasn’t what we expected.

Now, Google has decided more changes are in order. In fact, they’re planning a second mobile update in an effort to “continue making the web more web friendly” and this time, non mobile friendly website are almost certain to see that the changes have a big impact. What does this mean for you? Simple, if you’re site isn’t friendly, it’s time to start making your changes.

A Look Back at the 21st of April Mobile Update

With a primary goal of ensuring that Google search users got the best possible answer when they performed a search, regardless of what device they were using, Google revealed its largest mobile algorithm change ever. As a result, mobile friendly sites with good content were more likely to rank in the top results. This update, essentially, focused on user experience.

Google did report that the update would not affect desktop rankings, meaning a non mobile friendly site’s ranking wouldn’t suffer when a desktop search was performed.

What is a Mobile Friendly Site?

Let’s back up for a minute and look at what it means to be mobile friendly.

  • There’s no need to scroll horizontally
  • There’s no need to zoom to read text
  • The links are spaced a bit farther apart
  • Any clickable spots are easy to click

A Year Later

Today, just over a year after “Mobilepocaypse”, let’s examine how non friendly sites were impacted by the change. (Keep in mind that mobile friendly sites did see higher rankings, through it wasn’t quite what they expected.)

Non friendly sites saw an average loss of 0,21 positions in their rankings, both mobile and desktop. As far as mobile search only, there was a loss of about 2,1. After the update, BrightEdge, a content marketing company, tracked more than 20,000 URLs. They reported a decrease of 21% in non-friendly URL on the first 3 pages returned in a search.

The impact was most significant for pages 2-3, while page 1 only experienced a 17,3%.

Moz, a SEO consulting company, also analysed search result pages after the update. Their results were similar, in that there wasn’t as much impact as expected. In fact, there was just a tiny increase in mobile friendly results on the search results.

Overall, the 2015 update didn’t live up to expectations. As a result, some non friendly sites manged to have respectable rankings and only experienced a minimal traffic impact.

Google Wants to Get it Right

Now, Google has decided to give it another try. They released this statement quote: “Today we’re announcing that beginning in May, we’ll start rolling out an update to mobile search results that increases the effect of the ranking signal to help our users find even more pages that are relevant and mobile friendly.” This time, non mobile friendly sites will see a bigger impact and mobile friendly pages are sure to see their rankings improve.

Why is Mobile Friendly so Important?

Essentially, Google wants to make it very apparent that they know mobile friendly is important. In some ways, their statement was a bit of a warning for sites that aren’t mobile friendly. Thanks to the changes in the mobile algorithm, there will be negative implications.
On a final note, more than 60% of Google searches are made from a mobile device. Will your site be able to survive if it isn’t showing in the results? If you aren’t sure your site will be able to make it, it’s definitely time to start making changes.

CoolBison have developed a full white label mobile website software that will turn your desktop or responsive website in to a mobile friendly version. If you’d like some information on our mobile service you will be pleased to learn we are running a continuous 50% discount from the standard retail price. Call our office today for some further information 01172 900 207.

Marcus Rockey