Starting April 21st, Google will be launching a new mobile friendly ranking algorithm. This update will have a much larger impact than any of the other algorithm updates including Panda & Penguin.
Since this is such a significant update, many web-masters and agencies are anxious on how this will affect their current sites and how they should handle mobile in the months to come.
The 5 most important things to know about this update are:
- It will affect sites on a page-by-page basis.
- Impacts on the site will be a real time basis.
- Will launch on the 21st but will take up to a week to rollout completely.
- Mobile friendliness will be either Pass or Fail.
- Google is already showing whether a page is mobile friendly or not in the SERP’s and offers a mobile friendly testing tool to check for compliance.
Unlike most of Google’s previous updates that affected the entire domain, this mobile update will only affect individual pages. Meaning if you have 20 pages on your website but only 5 are responsive, then those other 15 pages could be filtered out on mobile.
This poses a problem for many larger, older websites that may have old content and pages that rank for certain terms even though they have not been updated in quite sometime.
During the SMX West expo, Google’s Gary Illyes answered some questions pertaining to the algorithm. One of the things he touched on was that the algorithm would run in “real time.” Meaning you can get your site mobile friendly and when the site is crawled again it will benefit from the update.
This means there will be no re-submitting process like previous penguin updates, which could essentially eliminate all organic traffic for months at a time.
Week Roll Out
April 21st will be the official launch date of this algorithm. However, it will take a few days and up to a week to roll out completely and globally. As with most of Google’s updates, we expect the United States and European markets to be affected first as the update trickles down to the other regions.
Mobile Friendliness is Pass or Fail
There was a lot of speculation leading up to this announcement on how Google will handle the various degrees of mobile friendly and responsive websites. While Google will use over 200 different metrics to determine if a page is mobile friendly, the page itself will receive either a “yes” or “no” score.
How Do You Know if You’re Mobile Friendly?
A simple way to see if your site is ready for the update is to just Google terms that you know your web page ranks for. Over the past couple weeks, Google has been adding “mobile friendly” snippets to the SERP’s and denoting web pages that are mobile friendly. So if you see the snippet you know your page is good to go.
Or you can use Google’s mobile friendly testing tool to determine if your web pages are mobile friendly.