Mobilegeddon is Upon Us: Are You Ready?

By: Michelle Law  | 04/16/2015

Google makes hundreds of algorithm updates every year, most going unnoticed. However, occasionally, Google publishes a major algorithm update that affects search results significantly. Here is a breakdown of the next major Google algorithm update, what it means and how to react.


Forget Panda. Forget Penguin. Mobilegeddon, the nickname for the next major Google algorithm update, is upon us and may be bigger than Panda and Penguin combined. On April 21st, this Google algorithm change will begin to include website mobile-friendliness as a ranking factor for mobile searches. This means if a website is not mobile-friendly, it will encounter more difficulty ranking in Google mobile searches than a website that is mobile-friendly. The algorithm update will impact mobile search results in all languages worldwide.


Google, a pioneer of user experience, is always testing new ways to improve their search engine for users. At any time, Google is believed to be testing dozens of algorithm changes or search result page options. This major update, Mobilegeddon, tells us that Google has recognized the move towards mobile and is releasing this update to provide searchers with results that are easier to use and better optimized for their devices. The bottom line is that providing mobile-friendly results for mobile searches provides the best user experience. Any results that do not meet this mobile-friendly criteria will be penalized with lower rankings in Google mobile search results.


To prepare for April 21st, there are several tools available to see how Google views individual URLs or websites in terms of mobile-friendliness.  
If the outcome is not mobile-friendly, there are changes to be made. Solutions include mobile websites, responsive websites and adaptive websites. All three, when implemented correctly, meet Google’s mobile-friendly criteria. Without a mobile-friendly solution, a website’s mobile organic performance may decline. The move towards mobile-friendliness has never been as transparent as now and the future points in the same direction.


Only time will tell the extent and future effects of this update. We will have to wait and see if the update reacts differently with device types (Android vs. iOS) or if desktop results are encompassed in the future. We can predict that mobile usability indicators, such as page speed and load time, will only have a greater influence on Google mobile search results in the future. However, only one thing is certain now; mobile can no longer be disregarded.
Here at Hileman Group, we will be doing some testing of our own to see how the update is impacting our clients. Stay tuned for our report and leave us your comments on how you have or have not been affected!


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