The Google Mobile Algorithm to be Bigger than Penguin or Panda


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(Note title changed by Linda to reflect post #2 with new info.)


Happy Monday everyone..Another nice post at Street Fight.

What You Need to Know About Google’s New Mobile-friendly Algorithm

Most Street Fight readers are probably already aware of the importance of a mobile-friendly website, but now there is actually a real deadline for brands and businesses to make that happen. Procrastinators take note, Google recently took to their Webmaster Central Blog to announce an upcoming algorithm change that will take effect on April 21st and affect large brands and small businesses alike:

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.

Read: Mobile-friendly sites may rank higher in the SERP (Search Engine Results Page) than non-mobile optimized websites.
 

Linda Buquet

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Thanks Justin!

More news on this today coming from Google at SMX Munich.

<a href="http://searchengineland.com/how-large-is-googles-mobile-friendly-algorithm-larger-than-panda-or-penguin-217026">How Large Is Google's Mobile-Friendly Algorithm? Larger Than Panda Or Penguin.</a>

Google’s Zineb Ait Bahajji from the Webmaster Trends team was quoted as saying at SMX Munich this morning that the upcoming mobile-friendly ranking algorithm that will launch on April 21st will have more of an impact on Google’s search results than the Google Panda update and the Google Penguin update did.

Google did say when they announced the mobile-friendly ranking algorithm that this would have a “significant impact” on the mobile search results. This is key, it is only impacting the mobile results and even so, it will have more of an impact than Panda or Penguin.
 
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Linda,

Do you believe that this is instantly going to effect local? I've been researching and looking at a lot of different things here, not for the sake of my clients but in hopes of some nasty competitors to drop off lol.

One thing I'm wondering is if this is truly going to affect local results immediately. Some people think it is a given, but panda and penguin haven't had as much of an impact in local in my opinion.

I've also wondered if Google would just choose to show the GMB page instead of linking the website. For those that are just worried about generating calls, this may not be that big of a deal.

What are your thoughts?
 

Linda Buquet

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Hi Nathan,

I've honestly been so swamped have not had much time to even think about it.

Heck my main site is not even mobile optimized and I don't even have time to think about it right now.

But I believe I read today this algo will only affect mobile results. So depending on the business and how much of their traffic comes from mobile - that will likely see the biggest impact. And I suspect not so much a penalty but if on mobile, mobile optimized sites will rank higher and non mobile sites will be toward the bottom.

So for example restaurants probably get high % of mobile searches. Dentists, maybe not so many. Maybe more Moms searching at night from desktop after kids go to bed.

BUT then again like you said, with local we are sometimes fairly immune to changes - at least the pack listings because there is a local layer that sometimes shelters us from all the organic changes. But local organic listings would still be affected I would think.
 
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Thanks for the response Linda. I've been thinking that it would effect organic but not so much the packs.

Guess we will see soon enough!

Most of my clients are already using responsive sites. I wonder how long it will take for Google to look specifically for responsive vs. mobile compatibility.
 

Linda Buquet

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No one knows for sure, but my assumption is that it will affect packs too.
But only on mobile. Desktop is supposed to remain the same.
 

JoshuaMackens

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Just my opinion, I doubt it has any affect or bearing on the local packs initially. Local pack immunity to Penguin and Panda show that local is a separate entity within Google when it comes to algorithm updates.

However, it would still be important to have a mobile responsive website, just in case. Also, I imagine eventually local will catch up to the update anyway. For instance, local looks completely different on mobile now anyway with the mobile 3 packs.

Also, you want to make sure you don't neglect organic ranking. For many long tail keywords local packs don't show up and organic is king.
 

JordanJCaron

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Been out of the loop and busy for the last two months so I have neglected my training. Saw a post about this tonight and wanted to see what everyone on this fine forum thought.

Personally, I would believe it should affect the organic and local listings on mobile because if users click through, they're landing on the website looking for more details. So in this case, why wouldn't Google promote mobile friendly and demote non-mobile friendly sites?

Will have to take some screenshots of the mobile results for a few clients and see if they are changes. It will also be interesting to see of this is being rolled out across all major countries or not and how long it will take the results to change.
 

valesence

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I searched on mobile and desktop for my company to see the affect of local changes. I was a little disappointing a business that was not mobile friendly was still on the local 7 pack on mobile today. The only change was that when clicking on his listing from mobile I was directed to his google plus page vs his website. On the desktop the listing in the 7 pack still goes to his website.

Im curious to see the long term affect of this but at this point I don't think it will affect his responses. The listing still has click to call and his google plus page has a picture of his business on it.
 

Phil Rozek

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My guess is that different businesses / sites will feel the effects to very different degrees. For instance, even if a site doesn?t have the ?Mobile-Friendly? tag, but people still click on it more than Google expects, it?s probably not going to get smacked as hard. Likewise for sites that may not have the tag but are really sticky: low bounce rate, high time-on-page, many pages per-visit, etc.

Of course, that?s speculation on my part. These will be an interesting few weeks (and months).
 

JoshuaMackens

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My guess is that different businesses / sites will feel the effects to very different degrees. For instance, even if a site doesn’t have the “Mobile-Friendly” tag, but people still click on it more than Google expects, it’s probably not going to get smacked as hard. Likewise for sites that may not have the tag but are really sticky: low bounce rate, high time-on-page, many pages per-visit, etc.

Of course, that’s speculation on my part. These will be an interesting few weeks (and months).
There's a very well known roofer in one of my client's locales, always on the radio/tv, branded well, tons of backlinks, etc. and he isn't mobile friendly.

Checked the organic last night and it didn't matter. He was still #2 organically below, what else, an exact match domain/company.
 

Phil Rozek

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@Joshua

Yeah, although it's too early to tell, something tells me your roofer client won't take a beating from the mobile update (especially if the UX on his site doesn't push people away).
 

steven

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not seeing any effects at all yet for the non-mobile sites in my client's search terms, but will keep checking...
 

Linda Buquet

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It's still rolling out. It got a late start AND Google said it could take a week to fully roll out.

But again according to Gary from Google this won't affect pack ranking.
(Some of us question that.)

But additionally Google has said it's just one factor. So the super popular roofer Joshua mentioned may not take as much of a hit as a little known company that really does not have much going for them.
 
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It looks to me almost as if Google's backing away from their previous "Make all the things Mobile or else nasty things will happen" stance:

As we flagged in February, we’re making a change to our search rankings, to include ‘mobile-friendliness’ as one of the many criteria we use to rank search results.

There have been a few misconceptions flying around about this change, so we wanted to clear them up.

Firstly, mobile-friendliness is just one of 200 signals that we use to determine the ranking of results.
Sites that aren’t as mobile-friendly as they could be won’t disappear. In fact, they may still rank highly if they contain great content that people really want.
And again, just to be really clear, this is just for mobile results.
(From the Google Australia blog: Official Google Australia Blog: Mobilegeddon? We?re going for mobiletopia., posted 22 Apr)
 

Linda Buquet

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Thanks Priya!

Here's a good post for anyone like me that still has not gotten around to mobile yet.

COOL FREE MOBILE ANALYSIS TOOL

<a href="http://moz.com/ugc/cracking-the-google-mobile-friendly-test-how-to-score-100">How to Ace the Google Mobile-Friendly Test & Score 100%</a>

I'm going to try to make time to use that tool this weekend to see if there are possibly just a couple quick easy things I could fix on my old Catalyst home page just to tide me over til I can make time to deal with a redesign.
 

Linda Buquet

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We had posts scattered all over about the mobile update.

So I just tried to find and move most of them to the <a href="http://www.localsearchforum.com/mobile-social/">Mobile & Social</a>

Be sure to see my recent post about how this update SUPPOSEDLY won't affect packs.
 

Linda Buquet

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FYI Barry just reported:

<a href="https://www.seroundtable.com/google-mobile-friendly-algorithm-fully-rolled-out-20238.html">Google: Google Mobile Friendly Algorithm Fully Rolled Out</a>
 

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