Mobilegeddon is here! Google released the mobile friendly update today April 21st. Here is what you need to know.
The Google Mobile Friendly Update launches today, referred to by many in the SEO industry as “Mobilegeddon”. Google announced back in February their intention 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 did so in order to give businesses and webmasters sufficient time to make their web sites mobile friendly.
The mobile friendly update is expected to give a ranking boost to mobile-friendly pages in Google’s mobile search results. Barry Schwartz published an article on Search Engine Land with a list of common questions and concerns that have been answered over the past two-months around this algorithm. We have selected a few of the most important below, for full details please read their article here.
Q: What is this algorithmic update, who will it impact?
A: This update will impact only mobile searchers and it will give a ranking boost to mobile-friendly pages in Google’s mobile search results only.
Q: Will it impact desktop searchers? Will my desktop rankings drop?
A: No, it will only impact mobile searchers and will have no impact on your desktop rankings.
Q: Will it impact tablet searchers?
A: No, this only impacts searches done on mobile smartphone devices, not tablets.
Q: How do I know if my site is mobile friendly?
A: There are a few ways but the only way to know if your site is already indexed by Google as mobile friendly is to see if your site has the mobile friendly label in the mobile search results. Using the mobile friendly testing tool will show if you pass the test, but Google may still need some time to update their index to pick up on the fact that your web pages are mobile friendly. You can also use the mobile usability reports within Google Webmaster Tools, but those can be fairly delayed.
Q: Is the mobile friendly algorithm site-wide or on a web page by web page basis?
A: The mobile friendly algorithm is on a page by page basis. So even if only some of your web pages are not mobile friendly, some benefit will come from this algorithm.
Q: If I make my site mobile friendly today, how long will it take Google to pick up on those changes?
A: The algorithm is real time, Google has to crawl your web pages to determine if they are mobile friendly. Early tests show that it can take anywhere from a few hours to over 72-hours if you do everything right for Google to show your web pages as mobile friendly. I would not be surprised if large sites can take up to a month to be displayed as fully mobile friendly. So make sure your most important pages are indexed as mobile friendly sooner than later.
As always if you are unsure whether you will be affected by this monumental change or have already experienced a negative impact on search rankings., please get in touch with an SEO expert sooner rather than later.
Details about the author:
Michael Goldman is Managing Director of Invest in Digital LTD, a full service Digital Marketing Agency based in Manchester.