Things You Need to Know About Google’s Mobile-Friendly Update

Google has already confirmed what several of their employees have been hinting at late last year—”more Google searches take place on mobile devices than on computers.” The company goes on to say that these findings are true in 10 countries, including technology leaders like Japan and the US. Comparatively, total multi-platform web searches in the US alone, has increased by over 5% between 2013 and 2014, according to Comscore. All these suggest a great change in the mobile search optimization landscape, where search algorithms are likely to value mobile-friendly sites more in non-desktop queries.

Barely a month from its first announcement in April, Google’s Mobile-Friendly Update has now fully rolled out, and many believe that it is only the beginning of what SEOs fondly term as “Mobopocalypse” or “Mobilegeddon.” As frightening as these terms may sound, Google’s more mobile-friendly approach to mobile search rankings shouldn’t be as fearsome or intimidating as some may regard it to be. The update simply offers favor to mobile-friendly sites and pages, thus boosting their ranking on mobile search results. This way, the ever increasing mobile searchers can more easily and reliably find quality, relevant results, where the pages are readable even without tapping or zooming; where tap targets are appropriately spaced; where there is less unplayable content; or that avoids horizontal scrolling.

Just the same, Google still looks at a variety of mobile signals in order to rank search results, which is why you shouldn’t altogether abandon your old strategies, just to accommodate the Mobile-Friendly update. The intent of search queries, for instance, is still a powerful signal, so even if your pages are not yet mobile friendly, they could still rank pretty high for great content, relative to the query. As a conclusion, let us enumerate where this update applies to and which results it affects:

  • search rankings on mobile devices ONLY
  • search results in all languages globally
  • individual pages and not entire websites