Everything You Need To Know About Google’s New Stance On Mobile
In preparation for the release of Google’s mobile-friendly algorithm update on April 21, columnist Neil Patel summarizes what we already know and what you should do to adapt.
There’s no mistaking the fact that Google is driving the mobile revolution. Google is the world’s largest mobile platform provider (Android). Google is the world’s largest mobile search provider. Google has the largest mobile app store. In other words, Google gets to make the calls on mobile.
But things are getting even bigger. Google isn’t satisfied with the biggest piece of the pie for devices, search, and apps. They might eventually own the airwaves, too (maybe). The purpose of this article is to tell you what’s going down with Google’s mobile stance, and what you need to do in response.
Google Will Revamp Their Search Algorithm To Favor Mobile-Friendly Sites
According to Google Webmaster Central, Google will be rolling out the most significant mobile algorithm change to date:
Starting April 21, we will be expanding our use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal.
In just a few short days, you’re going to witness a huge algo upset. In fact, a Googler noted that this change will have more of an impact than Penguin or Panda.
What is a mobile-friendly site? Thankfully, it’s pretty easy to find out. Just run your website through Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test page.
Unfortunately, the test is not without its flaws. Google admits it with its prominent placement of a feedback form. (The issues have prompted some robust discussion in the Google Product forums.) Nonetheless, the mobile friendly test is generally a useful gauge of a site’s mobile performance.
Another method of checking your site is to search for it on your mobile device. If the SERP entry bears the “mobile friendly” label, then you’re in Google’s good graces.
Finally, you should run your site through Google’s Mobile Usability Report (in Google Webmaster Tools) to discover any relevant recommendations that will improve mobile use.
The Algorithm Change Will Be “Significant”
I’m trying not to read too much into the announcement, but I can’t help but notice that ominous word, “significant.”
This change will affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide and will have a significant impact in our search results.
What will be the actual impact of an algo change that is “significant”? It’s anyone’s guess. Out of curiosity, I searched the Webmaster blog archives for all occurrences of the term “significant.” What are some other things that Google called “significant”?
A survey like mine is facile, of course, but I think we need to assess and prepare for something that Google deems “significant.”
Already, we know that this update will be bigger than Panda or Penguin. We also know that Google considers mobile to be so significant that they are working to dominate nearly all of its manifestations. With this search update, we should brace ourselves for a tectonic adjustment in the way that mobile search functions.
My basic predictions are that non-optimized pages will virtually drop from mobile rankings and possibly desktop rankings. I predict that any page lacking mobile optimization will cease to rank for head terms. I predict that SERP results on page 1 for longtail keywords above a certain search frequency threshold will feature mobile-friendly only pages.