#Mobilegeddon and the Google Mobile-Friendly Update

The much hyped and feared mobile-friendly Google algorithm update turned out, in the short-term, to not be quite the Armageddon that many Webmasters had suspected it would be. The update didn’t break the Internet! It is part of a continuous effort by Google to improve the performance of SERPs for smart phone and tablet users and as Moz.com recently noted, “Google’s push toward mobile-first design and their clear public stance on this issue strongly signal that mobile-friendly sites are going to have an advantage over time.”

Due, in some part, to the great deal of anxiety the update was causing web professionals, Google hosted a Q&A hangout. Their pair of employees provided an overview of the expected results of the ranking change. You can watch it, in full, below:

Don’t have time to watch the video? Here are the highlights:

  • Affects only search rankings on mobile devices
  • Affects search results in all languages globally
  • Applies to individual pages, not entire websites

Specifically, searchers will see a mobile-friendly tag on sites that prioritize attributes identified by Google, “…easily find high-quality and relevant results where text is readable without tapping or zooming, tap targets are spaced appropriately, and the page avoids unplayable content or horizontal scrolling.”

Google hasn’t completely penalized sites that aren’t mobile-friendly. They point out that, “even if a page with high quality content is not mobile-friendly, it could still rank high if it has great content for the query.”

If you’ve been using AdWords for mobile paid search, guess what… mobile-friendliness has been part of the AdWords quality score since 2011!

This was confirmed by Kate O’Donovan from the Google AdWords team in Dublin. She posted the announcement in the Google AdWords Help forum:

“Starting Today, April 21 2015, we will be expanding our use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal. This change will affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide and will have a significant impact in our search results.

 While this change will not impact your advertising campaigns, mobile friendliness has been an ads quality factor since November 2011”

What are your action items as it relates to this ranking change? Well, you can use the Mobile-Friendly Test tool to check the pages or your site or employ the Mobile Usability report available to you in Google Webmasters Tools to review your entire site. If in doing so, you find that your site isn’t mobile-friendly, work with your web developer to take the necessary step. And, yes, Google provides you a tool to coordinate that effort, too!

So, all in all, the immediate affect of the latest algorithm update hasn’t brought the mobile web to a screeching halt. In fact, it’s only serving to make it better!