Google’s mobile-friendly algorithm: our thoughts and findings

Tomorrow, Tuesday April 21st, is the date of the biggest Google algorithm update of recent times. Over the next few weeks, we will be keeping this blog updated with news and insight into what has and has not been affected as we find it.

What we know so far

Google’s official blog on the mobile-friendly update states that the purpose of the algorithm is so that “users will find it easier to get relevant, high quality search results that are optimized for their devices”.

It’s also worth mentioning here that, for the time being, desktop search results will not be affected by this update. But there is certainly no harm in making sure your site passes at least the mobile-friendly test just in case there are repercussions in the future. Moz’s blog ‘9 Things You Should Know about Google’s Mobile-Friendly Update’ suggests that your mobile UX score leads to other improvements that are ranking factors for desktop sites. So this certainly isn’t an update to ignore, even if your traffic comes only from desktop.

Google sees ‘tablets’ as ‘desktops’

Tomorrow’s update is solely for mobile users — this means iPhones, smartphones, and mobile phones, and not tablets. Confirmation on this came in on Twitter via the Google Webmasters profile:

@Jumzle The upcoming mobile-friendly change is for mobile users, not tablet users.
— Google Webmasters (@googlewmc) April 1, 2015>

However, there is some talk online that Google may change their stance on this following tomorrow’s update. The Moz ‘9 things’ blog linked to previously makes a claim (in section 3) that Google might change their stance on tablets; there is also a follow-up discussion in the comments.

The MF update is BIG

The mobile-friendly update will have a much larger effect on (mobile) organic search results than Panda or Penguin did, which affected only 12% and 3.1% of search queries respectively. Search Engine Journal has predicted that the mobile-friendly update will affect more than 12% of search queries.

The update is worldwide and will affect mobile searches in all languages.

Organic listings are affected

The update is going to affect how search results are displayed on a user’s mobile device, which will influence how a user browses and even shops from their phone.

Only the 10 blue links will be affected following this update, meaning that Local results, the ‘In the news’ section and Images etc will not be affected.

@jenstar yep, just the “10 blue links” are, but of course teams who own the other features may also use mobile friendliness on their own
— Gary Illyes (@methode) April 10, 2015

Our findings

We are keeping a close eye on all our clients and a number of key search verticals to assess the impact of this update, and will publish our findings once we have a clearer picture.

This section will be updated as we analyse our findings, but as we expect the algorithm roll-out to not be instantaneous, there will be plenty of updates.

Check back soon for more information!

In the meantime, if you are concerned about whether or not you’re ready for this new algorithm, or think that you have been affected once it is up and running, Accord is here to help.

Our expert team are ready to assist you to take advantage of the algorithm change. Please get in touch with your Accord Account Manager and we will set up a consultation today!

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