Following the online whirlwind that was Google’s Mobile Update, we wanted to cut through some of the noise and let you know how this update has really affected websites, and what it means to you going forward.
We also wanted to take this time to put our proactive hats on and look forward to what the next update from Google might be, and how we can better prepare for such changes. Not only to avoid penalties and negative consequences of such updates, but to better serve our clients and customers and to keep ahead in the fast changing online world.
In case you’ve had your head buried in the sand…
Here’s a quick refresh to get you up to speed.
On April 21st 2015 Google began rolling out a mobile friendly update to their algorithm. Basically, this means they’re now boosting the rankings of mobile-friendly pages for searches that occur on mobile devices – delivering these users high quality and relevant results, which they won’t need to tap-to-zoom in to or scroll horizontally to view the webpages.
- The update only affects searches carried out on mobile devices.
- It affects all languages globally.
- It applies to individual pages, not entire websites.
- The intent of the search query is still as important as ever, even if a page has high-quality content but is not mobile friendly it could still rank highly for that query.
An experiment carried out by BrightEdgeaccurately captured the impact of the algorithm change on and after April 21st 2015.
They collectively analysed 750 sample keywords, the 20,000+ URLS represented by those keywords, and the mobile-friendlines (either mobile-friendly or not mobile-friendly) of each URL as tested by the Google’s Mobile-Friendliness tool. All of these factors were assessed along with rank to assess the impact of the algorithm update.
Among many other results, the most frightening was that “as of April 27 there was a 21% decrease in the number of non-mobile-friendly URLs on the first 3 pages of the SERPs compared to before the update.”
Test your site now;
Use Google’s Mobile-Friendly test to test individual pages on your website.
Check the performance of your entire site with the Mobile Usability Report in webmaster tools (if your site isn’t mobile friendly, you may notice a significant drop in mobile traffic from Google Search here, but once it does become mobile-friendly your site will automatically be re-crawled by Google).
Preparing for Future updates
Google had slowly been moving towards the reality of this mobile friendly update for a long time, and fortunately in this case website owners had plenty of warning to bring their sites up to speed before April 21st. But this is not always the case and the reality is if you want to be competitive online, you need to have the right understanding of your rank and competitive landscape to equip yourselves to win in the online world.
BrightEdge is a global leader in Content Performance Marketing, used by many of the fortune 500 companies, and at least 9 of the top 10 hospitality and ecommerce sites worldwide. Partnering with Brightedge has given us at Online Asset Partners the ability to provide clients with 20/20 vision of their content and SEO performance. The power of this technology leads the way in SEO innovation, and is a significant tool in helping us deliver outstanding success to our clients.
Keep posted on the Online Asset Partners blog for part two of this article which will look into what Google’s next update could be and how you start preparing now.
If you have any queries about anything in this article or how this update may have affected your business, please don’t hesitate to contact us now for a no-obligation discussion - we’re here to help!