Google Targets Spammy Queries, Bad Mobile Sites With New Ranking Updates

Google’s Distinguished Engineer Matt Cutts has announced that a new ranking update, one that targets spammy queries is now live. Separately, Google is warning that if you have a bad mobile website, your search rankings will soon be hurting.

New Ranking Update for Some Spammy Queries


The ranking update for spammy queries, which will impact 0.3 percent to 0.5 percent of queries in English, shouldn’t come as a surprise to most. This was one of the changes we were told by Cutts to expect from Google this summer. . Cutts specifically mentioned that the change would affect queries such as “payday loans” on and pornographic queries.

The ranking update is a work in progress, Cutts noted on Twitter, adding that it’s a “a multifaceted rollout that will be happening over the next 1-2 months.”

Smartphone Rankings Changes

google-mobile-searchBad mobile SEO will cost you. In a post on the Google Webmaster Central Blog, Google warns that “we plan to roll out several ranking changes in the near future that address sites that are misconfigured for smartphone users.”

Google called out two specific areas in their blog post – faulty redirects (“when a desktop page redirects smartphone users to an irrelevant page on the smartphone-optimized website”) and smartphone only errors (when “sites serve content to desktop users accessing a URL but show an error page to smartphone users”).

Google’s advice on properly configuring your mobile site: “Try to test your site on as many different mobile devices and operating systems, or their emulators, as possible.”

In addition, just as site speed has played a part in Google’s web search ranking algorithm since 2010, you can expect site speed to have an impact on the rankings of mobile sites, Cutts announced at the SMX Advanced conference.

About the author

Danny Goodwin formerly was Associate Editor of Search Engine Watch, where he also covered the latest search marketing and industry news. He joined Incisive Media in October 2007, in charge of copy editing columns that appeared on both Search Engine Watch and ClickZ. Prior to a life in the search industry, he worked in the journalism field, working in numerous newsroom positions, before later working as a freelance copy editor.