Mobilegeddon Shake Search Results !
The Google Mobile Friendly Update launches tomorrow, a day that many including ourselves here at Search Engine Land are calling “Mobilegeddon.” We first learned of Google’s plan to release a new algorithm designed to reward mobile-friendly web pages back in February. It’s unprecedented for Google to pre-announce a big algorithmic change like this, but Google did so in order to give publishers ample time to make their web sites mobile friendly. The mobile friendly update will potentially give a ranking boost to mobile-friendly pages in Google’s mobile search results. Below you will find a list of common questions and concerns that have been answered over the past two-months around this algorithm.
What Does It Mean?
In short, if your website is not mobile-friendly, Google now sees it as a bad experience for Google Searchers/users. Delivering “relevant” links and ads is the foundation of Google’s value proportion. So, if your site leads a poor experience, you are quality score be hurt and page rank negatively impacted. There have been reports that millions of small business will be hurt by this update resulting in significant traffic declines and lost business. Several large companies that were slow to adopt over the years will also be hurt.
Mobile-friendly is the new hotness
The change is designed to help users find search results formatted for their device, Google said. The company often makes tweaks to its algorithms and technology powering search, but announces few. That this has been announced suggests Google expects the change to cause a big impact, potentially affecting traffic and revenue for a number of sites that heavily rely on search results. Mail Online, the world’s largest English-language news site, for instance has never introduced a mobile-friendly front page and as a consequence will likely suffer.
How bad could this all get? Consider that Panda update impacted 12% of all English queries and Google has simply stated “significantly larger” impact, plus the fact that this is the only algorithm change that can be remembered. This not only changes landscapes in the mobile world, but will have profound impacts on SEO and SEM in general. If half of all results are “tweaked” the local business communities will be hit hard. 4 in 5 consumers conduct local searches using search engines. These searches lead to in store purchases and local services. The biggest impact will be to the winners. Take the scenario of a 20% increase in mobile. Many of those users will visit from a desktop, or return outside of the SERP. This increases overall site traffic, making your site more popular and rewarded with higher page rank. This lift will continue to help your SEO efforts for mobile and desktop. But, keep in mind that this could be all hype and no bite.