The Day After The Mobile-Friendly Update
by Al Gomez
It’s more or less 24 hours after the onslaught of Google’s mobile-friendly algorithm update. How is your website so far? Did you lose ranking – or gained it? As what they in Search Engine Land like to call ‘Mobilegeddon’, it was launched on April 21st, 2015 on a global scale; affecting SERPs on mobile devices on all languages. Some businesses panicked, while the rest sat back and relaxed (most likely because they were able to optimize their pages in advance).
You might be wondering why Google bothered with an update when they released one in 2013.The latter deals with accessing mobile sites, such as problems with redirects; while today’s mobile update is all about mobile usability. It won’t affect queries on tablets or PCs, nor will your website drop out of the list if you decide not to go mobile. However, your business might enjoy the benefits of becoming more visible on smartphones, as illustrated:
So, how are mobile SERPs looking?
The Current Mobile Ranking Status – So Far
It’s still a little too early to tell, but SERPs are not looking as impressive as we hoped they would be. Here is a summary of what we have observed on its first day:
- Mobile-friendly pages have labels for easy distinction (handy for users)
- Non mobile-friendly websites are still ranking (they seem to have the same rank on desktops too)
Note: The update applies to PAGES not websites. That means if you have several pages that are not yet mobile-friendly, you can still improve them so they can get the mobile-friendly label and gain a boost. Changes happen in real-time according to Google; but experts advise waiting up to 72 hours.
For our website (seoexpertpage.com), it remained on the same spot it has on both devices (desktop and mobile) – even though we did double the effort to fix mobile usability problems (like site speed, image responsiveness, and mobile-friendly copy). Perhaps we expected too much, or maybe the Google team still has plenty of seams to wrap up, but things sort of looked the same.
It’s not that we were expecting to immediately hit the top spot. We’re well aware that there are other factors to consider for ranking – even on mobile (read about the full article on Google’s official blog post). To prove this point, here’s an example of a non mobile-friendly website. It ranks on number three according to the ‘SEO Los Angeles’ keyword.
Users might be put off upon landing on this page; but Google gathers other elements such as content, overall web design, and relevant backlinks when ranking websites. So don’t be surprised to see your competitor ahead of you. Odds are, they earned that spot thanks to on- and offsite SEO factors that have nothing to do with being mobile-friendly. Don’t worry: you too, can increase in ranking by checking your own site and detecting issues that might be hindering your progress.
Don’t focus on content and web design alone. Remember to look at offsite elements as well, like social media signals and Page Authority.
Conclusion and Recommendation
It’s not yet too late to go mobile. Check out our easy 4-step process on how to accomplish this:
Don’t despair even if some (or even ALL) of your web pages are not yet mobile-friendly. One, check your website using Google Webmaster tools or their online test. Second, identify exactly what those errors are. You may need the help of your in-house web development team for this. Third, fix all issues! This may take a while, so just be patient. Again, as Google’s algorithm update is real-time, you don’t need to rush because your pages will be re-crawled and re-indexed as soon as it is free of errors.
Lastly, test your web pages for final output. Use Google’s online tools again to ensure that your website runs smoothly on mobile devices. This guarantees that you give only the best experience for your target users. Once your website becomes mobile-friendly, you can enjoy the benefits of increased views because your pages are more fun to visit.
If you’re still having trouble despite your best efforts, perhaps it’s time to contact your local SEO services for their assistance.
How about you: did you see any difference the day after the Mobilegeddon? Tell us about your experience on the comments!
January 15, 2018