BREAKING - Google's Mobile-Friendly Update Will Not Affect Local Pack Listings


Linda Buquet

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Great news! And makes sense!

Jen over at the SEM Post has the scoop! With official word from Google.

<a href="http://www.thesempost.com/googles-mobile-friendly-ranking-signal-will-not-affect-local-pack-listings/">Google's Mobile Friendly Ranking Signal Will Not Affect Local Pack Listings - The SEM Post</a>

<a href="http://www.twitter.com/methode/" onclick="__gaTracker('send', 'event', 'outbound-article', 'http://www.twitter.com/methode/', 'Gary Illyes');" target="_blank">Gary Illyes</a>, a Google Webmaster Trends Analyst, was speaking at <a href="http://www.brightonseo.com/" onclick="__gaTracker('send', 'event', 'outbound-article', 'http://www.brightonseo.com/', 'Brighton SEO');" target="_blank">Brighton SEO</a> today, discussing the upcoming mobile friendly ranking signal that will be starting on April 21st.  And he had some interesting things to say about local businesses at their pack listings.</p>
<p>According to Illyes, if a local business is appearing in the Google Pack results, but does not have a mobile friendly site, their listing in the Pack results will NOT be impacted.  Those Google My Business listings will remain.</p>
Jen goes on to explain why this makes sense and I agree!

Mobile searchers are looking for a nearby business. Often just to get their address or phone# from the pack listing, or to check reviews which are right there on Google or on the G+ L page - so whether or not they have a mobile site, should not factor in as much.

Jen credits Greg Gifford with the original news in a Tweet here.

What do you think? Big relief if you are still struggling with some straggling clients that have not upgraded their site yet, right?

For more on mobile see my roundup here:

<a href="http://www.localsearchforum.com/mobile-social/30018-google-local-mobile-madness-dont-freak-out-roundup.html">Google Local Mobile Madness: Don't Freak Out Roundup</a>

G+ Image source: Reddit or Imgur?

<meta property="og:type" content="article"><meta property="og:title" content=""><meta property="og:description" content="Google says the local pack won't be affected by the mobile update">
<meta property="og:image" content="http://marketing-blog.catalystemarketing.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/MobileGeddon.jpg">
 

steven

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So if you have a local business, if you are appearing in the pack results, you don?t need to worry about losing your pack listings. That said, it is still a good idea to work on making those sites mobile friendly, especially if changes in rankings result in the business no longer appearing in those pack results, or if the pack results for some of the search queries no longer display.
So it may be affected indirectly due to drop in organic rankings? I prefer it to affect everything so I can offer these services to clients and prospects...
 

Linda Buquet

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So it may be affected indirectly due to drop in organic rankings?
Yes I wondered that too Steven! Seems like it would from what we know of local right???

Keep in mind sometimes the left and right hands of Google don't really jive.
So I think we'll have to see when it all shakes out.

But if I was a local business that depended on G for traffic, I would sure go ahead and update site.

(Says Linda sheepishly, since she has still not had time to upgrade her Catalyst site.
Do as I say - not as I do!) :eek:
 

kaynolliee

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I have noticed however that having a mobile friendly site is one of the top ranking factors for the 3 pack and has been for some time.

Admittedly this is a bit semantic but based on some of the clients I have worked on every time they weren't showing up it was almost without fail because they didn't have a mobile friendly site. Switching their site to something that was a bit more mobile friendly always made a huge difference.
 

Linda Buquet

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Good points kaynolliee,

FYI ALL - More from Google via Jen again:

<a href="http://www.thesempost.com/googles-mobile-friendly-algo-ten-blue-links/">Google's Mobile Friendly Algo Will Only Affect the "Ten Blue Links" & Not In the News, In-Depth Etc. - The SEM Post</a>

Here is the Twitter convo between Jen and Gary from Google:

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p><a href="https://twitter.com/jenstar">@jenstar</a> yep, just the "10 blue links" are, but of course teams who own the other features may also use mobile friendliness on their own</p>— Gary Illyes (@methode) <a href="https://twitter.com/methode/status/586502724587560963">April 10, 2015</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>


Thanks Jen!
 

Linda Buquet

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Here is Andrew Shotland's take on it:

<a href="http://www.localseoguide.com/why-googles-mobile-friendly-ranking-signal-most-likely-will-affect-local-pack-listings/">Why Google's Mobile Friendly Ranking Signal Most Likely WILL Affect Local Pack Listings - Local SEO Guide</a>

The more I think about it - I agree! Mainly based on what I said above...

Keep in mind sometimes the left and right hands of Google don't really jive.
So I think we'll have to see when it all shakes out.
Plus yes, organic rules the pack. (To a large degree.) So if your organic drops I think your pack ranking would as well.
 
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It seems to me that the only reason it WOULD affect local pack listings is by simply disabling/not showing the website in the pack listings unless the user was searching from a desktop.

Similar to what they do right now when a website may have malware or other issues and simply isn't available in the search, just the google + page.
 

Linda Buquet

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Hi Nathan,

Yes that's how it will work in organic. If not mobile, you just won't show in mobile, or at least will be way down below the ones that are mobile-friendly.

BUT since the pack algo is largely about organic ranking, seems like if your organic ranking drops your pack ranking would too.

I never use my phone cuz always chained to my desktop. But I need to try to make time to do some rank checking on mobile right before this hits so I can track the impact.
 

Linda Buquet

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Again here is Andrew's post about how he thinks the mobile algo WILL affect the pack and reasons why. One of the main being that since the pack is partly controlled by organic ranking, if your organic ranking drops your pack ranking should too. I agree with that.

<a href="http://www.localseoguide.com/why-googles-mobile-friendly-ranking-signal-most-likely-will-affect-local-pack-listings/">Why Google's Mobile Friendly Ranking Signal Most Likely WILL Affect Local Pack Listings</a>

Then there was a big of a debate between Andrew Shotland and Gary from Google and Jennifer Slegg on Twitter.

Gary still insists this mobile update is totally separate and won't affect local. He and Andrew went back and forth a bit.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p><a href="https://twitter.com/localseoguide">@localseoguide</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/jenstar">@jenstar</a> no, this is a core ranking change for web search (blue links). It works independently from anything else we have.</p>— Gary Illyes (@methode) <a href="https://twitter.com/methode/status/586836426882428929">April 11, 2015</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p><a href="https://twitter.com/methode">@methode</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/jenstar">@jenstar</a> +1 for clarity! :)</p>— Andrew Shotland (@localseoguide) <a href="https://twitter.com/localseoguide/status/586977010099994626">April 11, 2015</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

Those are just a couple of the main Tweets. See full convo here.

Not saying it's true for sure. Sometimes the left hand does not know what the right hand is doing over there. I guess we'll find out soon enough!
 

mborgelt

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Up until now, it seemed to me that Mobile, Local and desktop all had their own environment each with their own ranking factors. That being said I originally thought that only the mobile environment was updating its mobile-friendly ranking requirement, leaving the others untouched (Starting April 21, we will be expanding our use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal. This change will affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide and will have a significant impact in our search results. Consequently, users will find it easier to get relevant, high quality search results that are optimized for their devices).

Are we now all under the impression that desktop organic searches will be affected by this update as well?
 

Linda Buquet

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Michael, my impression is still that this update only effects mobile, not desktop.

The question above is whether it will effect packs or only organic listings.
 

mborgelt

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Ok. Sometimes it's hard to delineate what is actually being asked on here. Based on our research, I think it may based on the fact that I have tested mirrored searches while physically in Salt Lake City, Denver, L.A. and Hawaii and mobile search rarely don't always match local packs and the variables that cause this to happen are possibly the factors being updated. In short, I think any affects on packs in mobile will be from fallout. However, much like kaynolliee, I have seen local rankings increase after we build mobile sites so perhaps we are thinking ahead of the curve there. The update works for pages that are updated in real time from what Google says so I think that will be a great way to test what really goes on.
 

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