The Pom Blog

This Week’s Insight: Mobilegeddon 101

What to Know About Google’s Mobile Friendly Algorithm

Last week, Google launched a new mobile friendly update, aimed at adjusting mobile search results to give preference to mobile ready websites (ones with large text, easy-to-click links, and that resize to fit any screen they’re viewed on) over non mobile ready websites. About 60 percent of online traffic now comes from mobile, and Google wants users to have a good experience when they view a website on their mobile phones.

Commonly referred to as “Mobilegeddon,” the update had businesses in a panic prior to its launch on April 21st. Fast forward to today, one week after the update was released, and most SEO experts are saying the results haven’t been as catastrophic as some predicted. That’s not to say a mobile friendly website shouldn’t be in your plans for the next year or two, but most businesses need not panic.

Below, we’ve gathered some useful questions, answers, and resources from around the web to shed some light on the update.

Q: What is this algorithmic update, and who will it impact?
A: This update will impact only people searching Google from their mobile phones, 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 website rankings for people searching Google from their desktops.

Q: Will it impact tablet searchers?
A: No, this only impacts searches done on mobile phones, not tablets.

Q: What types of businesses will be most affected?
A: Businesses that depend on people finding them through localized search will be most impacted. For instance, if a searcher typed “coffee shops in Annapolis, MD,” or “dry cleaner in Baltimore, MD,” into Google on their phone, the coffee shops and dry cleaners that do not have mobile friendly websites could see a drop in foot traffic as a result of this update.

Q: How do I know if my site is mobile friendly?
A: Enter your website URL into Google’s mobile friendly testing tool to see if your site passes the test.

Q: Can you be partially mobile friendly according to Google?
A: No, a web page is only ‘mobile friendly’ or ‘not mobile friendly.’ It is a yes or no on being mobile friendly or not.

Q: Will brand-related mobile queries be impacted?
A: Not really. If a searcher is looking for a specific company in Google’s mobile results, Google will still likely rank that brand in the first position even if the page is not mobile friendly. Ultimately, relevancy is more important and it outweighs this mobile algorithm. (For instance, if Sam’s Club was not mobile friendly and you searched for [Sam’s Club] on your iPhone tomorrow, it would still rank number one.)

Q: What are the most common mobile SEO mistakes?
A: Google published a document with the top seven mistakes webmasters make when going mobile friendly. These include blocked JavaScript, CSS and images files, content that doesn’t play, and more.

Q: Will Google remove my website from search results on mobile phones if I do not go mobile friendly?
A: No, absolutely not.

Q: Will this impact AdWords ads?
A: No, this is only for organic listings.

Q: If I transition from a non mobile friendly website to a mobile friendly one, how long will it take for Google to recognize this change?
A: Unlike some of Google’s other algorithms, this one will update its picture of the Web in real-time. So when you do introduce a live mobile site, Google will recognize it relatively quickly.

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