Google has recently made an announcement regarding the mobile index ranking factors, and how each of these factors will experience a shift in importance, or weight, in May. This is a follow-up of the much-publicised “Mobilegeddon”, which occurred roughly 11 months ago. What happened then is that, for the first time, the results that were displayed in the search index for mobile users deviated from what other device users would see. This was
What happened then is that, for the first time, the results that were displayed in the search index for mobile users deviated from what other device users would see. This was done to account for the different requirements of each user base; most importantly it looked at how compatible each website was for mobile, and gave those that had higher compatibility, that were “mobile-friendly”, an advantage over those that weren’t. A lot played into this besides the obvious matter of having pages fit the screen size of mobile devices, such as a separate speed test for mobile users and whether you have an app and so on.
This deviation between Google Mobile and the main Google Index was looked upon with dread by many in the internet environment; many believed it had tremendous potential for the disruption of the current search engine hierarchy – hence the term “Mobilegeddon”. While this fear was never really realised, the impact by no means went unnoticed, and it came with the promise of more changes in the future. This recent announcement by Google that informed everyone that the weighting behind some of the mobile ranking factors will be increased is, at least partly, a delivery on that promise.
So what does this mean for your business? Well, for starters, it means that if you haven’t already been convinced of the need for a mobile-friendly website by the current environment, the need is about to become a whole lot clearer. Saying that, if you’re currently ranking at the top of your search terms for most phrases with a non-mobile-friendly website, there is a good chance of you remaining near the top. The biggest impact will be felt by those businesses that are teetering between being in or out of a prominent position in the SERP’s, as this will likely give the required push to tip them over the edge.