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Mobilegeddon is Here! Will Your Mobile Rankings Survive
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Mobilegeddon is Here! Will Your Mobile Rankings Survive

by Ben Wittams-Smith21st April 2015

Google’s newest algorithmic update is due to be released today and is set to change the face of every mobile results page

The update was first announced by Google back in February in order to give webmasters enough time to mobile optimise their websites. Google don’t often give pre-warning of their large algorithmic updates, however because those who are unable to make the necessary changes will likely see their rankings for mobile devices plummet, it was important to give them ample opportunity.

The Mobile Friendly Update is predicted to have a greater impact than both the Panda and Penguin updates, meaning that it could affect as much as 11% or more of the search results pages (hence the name Mobilegeddon).

Will my website be affected?

For those publishers who haven’t made any changes to their website, they will be wondering “will my site be hit by the new update”. Google’s mobile friendly test is a great way to find out whether or not Google views your site as mobile optimised or not. Remember that if you are blocking Google’s bots with your robots txt file that this will prevent Google from viewing if your site is mobile friendly.

Google must crawl your website before they can deem it to be “mobile friendly” and therefore the only way to truly find out if Google has given your site the mobile friendly seal of approval is to view your site in the SERPs and see if you have the Mobile Friendly label:

mobile-friendly-search-result

The algorithm will be rolling out over the next few days and weeks, so you may need to wait some time before you receive this label.

It is an all-or-nothing update

Websites will not be compared with each other to see which is the most mobile friendly in order to help define position on the results page. Your website is either “mobile friendly” or “not mobile friendly”. This makes optimising ones website for the sake of passing the mobile friendly test simpler, as although you can continue to improve your site’s mobile friendliness from the perspective of your visitors – once you site is deemed by Google to be friendly there are no necessary improvements required from Google’s perspective.

Only the Web search results will be affected

Other results pages such as Google’s image, video, news, and shopping etc. will not be affected by the update. Only the core Web results page for mobile devices will be affected. That means that the results pages for tablet devices will not be affected either.

Mobile site speed is not relevant at this time

Crucially, the speed of your mobile site is not relevant. Google will be using the speed of the desktop version of your website as a ranking factor for the mobile search results.

Many sites are not mobile optimised

Despite the pre-warnings and the potential negative impact of the Mobile Friendly Update many webmasters have not made the effort to bring their sites up to speed. It will be interesting to see the results of the update over the next few days and how dominate the mobile friendliness of a site is as a ranking factor.

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About The Author
Ben Wittams-Smith
Ben Wittams-Smith is a content writer for Just SEO and the Company Director of JSEO LTD. As a specialist in SEO, SEM and digital marketing, Ben regularly contributes content and provides analytic insight in these areas.

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