The announcement this week that Google will be rolling out an update to its mobile-friendly algorithm will further impact websites that fail Google’s mobile-friendly requirements.
The announcement rightly focussed on the positives for sites that are already mobile-friendly and responsive. According to Google, the update “increases the effect of the ranking signal to help our users find even more pages that are relevant and mobile-friendly”. In other words, the ranking signal of mobile-friendly sites will have a higher importance when it comes to determining the search results on mobile devices.
The changes will be gradually rolled out from the start of May. Just how gradual the algorithm update will be is not yet known, but we believe it is likely to be rolled over several weeks and potentially months. This is because the mobile-friendly algorithm is a page-by-page signal, so it can take time for Google to assess the merits of each page.
Will it have the same impact as the original April 2015 release? We don’t believe so. Mobile-friendly, well optimised sites will already be reaping the rewards. It will really just make it harder for non-mobile friendly sites to rank well.
Good content will always be rewarded and the announcement even went to pains to point out that if you have “high-quality content that is not mobile-friendly, it could still rank well if it has great, relevant content”. Note the emphasis on high quality and great, relevant content…
Why should you care?
Clearly, if your website is not mobile-friendly then it will continue to slide down the rankings. Other sites — those that are — will be promoted above yours for users searching on mobile devices.
If you are concerned about your site or any individual pages on it, you can use Google’s Mobile-friendly tool or have a good read up on the mobile-friendly guide Google produced for the initial release.
If it all gets too hard give us a call as a phone call costs nothing and we love helping!
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Glenn is a Partner and Senior Consultant who has had a very successful career building growth companies in the private equity arena. He has a wealth of experience in both the digital space and strategy development. Prior to becoming a partner in SureFire Glenn built one of the largest digital teams in New Zealand for a NASDAQ listed global online marketing company & Google's largest premium partner.