Ever since Google announced their new mobile ranking
algorithm, many webmasters were afraid of the upcoming ‘mobilegeddon’.
Google released the new algorithm on April, 21st. Was it as bad as
expected? Do you still have to adjust your web pages?
What exactly is Google’s new algorithm?
On 21 April, Google released a new ranking algorithm that changes the way web pages are ranked in Google’s mobile results. According to Google, web pages that do not display correctly on mobile phones, will get lower rankings than before:
According to Google, there are 4.7% more mobile-friendly websites today than two months ago, when Google announced the new algorithm. The update doesn’t apply to all devices or results:
- it affects only search rankings on mobile phones
- it applies to individual pages of a site, not the entire website
- it is a global algorithm update that affects search
results in all languages
Many webmasters changed their websites – was it worth it?
It seems that Google hasn’t put much weight on it in the rankings yet. The mobile results haven’t changed dramatically and for most websites, the effect seems to be small. Some websites saw dropped rankings for some of their keywords but not for all.
Of course, it might be too early to tell as Google said that rolling out the update would take several days.
Before you change your web pages, consider this
When Google announced that secure websites would get an
lot of websites added SSL certificates in a hurry and encountered many
problems that were hard to fix (broken security certificates, broken
plugins, less relevant AdSense ads, etc.). So far, HTTPS sites don’t
seem to rank better than regular websites.
The new mobile algorithm could be similar. A new mobile website can also cause problems:
- for many websites, mobile traffic is worth less than desktop traffic
- if you change an effective web page with high conversions and replace it with an untested mobile design, conversions might drop
- the time that you invest in creating a mobile website cannot be invested in other marketing activities that might have a higher return-on-investment
As long as everything is okay with your website, it’s probably better to wait and see.
There are many things that are more important
Even Google makes it clear that the mobile algorithm is only one of many factors that influences the position of a website:
“Note that this is just one of over 200 signals we use to evaluate the best results. Non-mobile-friendly sites won’t disappear from mobile Search results—they may still rank high if they hold great content the user wants. […]
While the mobile-friendly change is important, we still use a variety of signals to rank search results. The intent of the search query is still a very strong signal — so 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.”
Before you make your web pages mobile-friendly, make sure that everything else is correct. Many things are much more important. Use the Top 10 Optimizer and the website audit tool in SEOprofiler to optimize your pages for Google and other search engines: