When first announced back in February, speculation as to the impact of the new Mobile Friendly Algorithm was at an all time high, especially when Google Officials let slip that the new update was going to have a bigger effect than either Panda or Penguin.
Fast forward a month or so, and Gary Illyes, a webmaster trends analyst at Google, has confirmed that the new Mobile Friendly Algorithm has now been fully rolled out, but with a caveat. That being that it will only take effect once the pages have been recrawled by Google so for some larger websites that could take weeks or even months to complete.
Furthermore, Gary indicated that the significant effect on the SERP’s that was expected has largely been mitigated by the fact that many websites have recently made the jump to becoming mobile friendly.
@rustybrick Also, there were a load of sites that became MF recently, so the actual number of sites affected decreased considerably— Gary "鯨理" Illyes (@methode) May 1, 2015
Indeed, many of the SERP trackers do not yet track mobile search fluctuations, but one of the ones that do (Rank Risk Index) shows that the update may have rolled out a few days earlier than the 21st April, with significant fluctuations seen from about the 15th April:
Not seeing anything here in the UK. Didn’t deserve its title of Mobilegeddon in all honesty.
That being said, there are still many in the SEO community not seeing any notable change within the Mobile Search results, so perhaps the new updates impact was vastly overstated … or perhaps there are less non-mobile-friendly websites ranking highly in the search than we thought.
Indeed, in the lead up to the 21st April Google announced that 4.7 percent more mobile friendly websites featured in the SERP’s and we suspect in the two weeks since then this has only increased further.
What is a Mobile Friendly website?
It is probably worth clarifying what we mean by Mobile Friendly website, for the benefit of those that are hearing about this new algorithm for the first time. A mobile friendly website adheres to the following basic principles:
- Avoids software like Flash that is not common on Mobile Devices
- You can read the text on the webpage without having to zoom in.
- The content is the correct size for the mobile device so that users do not have to scroll horizontally or zoom in.
- The links are set out in such a way that they can be easily pressed on a mobile screen.
If your website is Mobile Friendly, when you see it in the SERP’s you will see a “Mobile-friendly” badge as shown below:
We went into slightly more detail on the requirements for Mobile Friendliness, as well as how to test whether Google classifies your website as such in our previous article, which you can find here. We certainly recommend you checking it out, as we make reference to a Google webmaster Central Hangout in which some of the details were explained further.
Jonathan Griffin Editor, SEO Consultant, & Developer.
Jonathan Griffin is The Webmaster's Editor & CEO, managing day-to-day editorial operations across all our publications. Jonathan writes about Development, Hosting, and SEO topics for The Webmaster and The Search Review with more than nine years of experience. Jonathan also manages his own SEO consultancy, offering SEO developer services. He is an expert on site-structure, strategy, Schema, AMP, and technical SEO. You can find Jonathan on Twitter as @thewebmastercom.