It’s Mobilegeddon hot in here: Google strengthens its mobile-friendly ranking signal

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If you have a mobile-friendly website, stand down. This news is not for you.

If you don’t have a mobile-friendly website, my goodness what the hell are you doing!?? Have you not had enough warnings already? Stop reading this right now and go get a responsive website immediately you maniac!

So for anyone else reading this news – probably one person: my boss, the editor-in-chief of ClickZ (hi Graham!) – here’s a quick update to one of the biggest changes in the way Google ranks your website made in the last few years.

According to an announcement yesterday, from the beginning of May 2016, Google will increases the effectiveness of its ‘mobile friendly’ ranking signal.

As you will no doubt be aware, mobile-friendliness has been a ranking factor since April 2015. Ah remember when we would bandy around the word ‘mobilegeddon’ as if it didn’t make us look like paranoid crazies hidden in a nuclear bunker? Those were the days.

Many SEO experts however noticed that this SERP apocalypse (‘serpocalypse’) resulted in a rather damp fallout, with negligible change to search results.

Moz tracked the initial few days following the launch of Google’s tactical strike against mobile unfriendly sites on 21 April and suggested the change in temperature during this nuclear winter was lukewarm at best.

moz mobile temperature gauge

SEOClarity also found little to write home about in the initial wave of changes.

desktop-v-mobile

But there’s an argument to say the sites that would be most affected by an introduction of a mobile friendly algorithm would be the most visible sites, and therefore have probably already made the move to responsive design. They probably listened to the previous two years’ worth of advice given to them by every digital marketing publication in the world ever.

Anyway, forget all that, because as sniffy as some pundits have been regarding the initial mobile friendly update, stuff’s about to get real; mobilgeddon is about to get mobilegeddonier. In fact it’s going to be a veritable ragnorak.

Hmm let’s see if I can lay claim to the term ‘mobnarok’. No? How about ‘catacellysm’? ‘mobilehilation’? No? Fine.

Anyway after all this ridiculous hyperbole and rampant portmanteauism there is still some solace for the non-mobile friendly. Google states that the your site can still rank well if it has great, relevant content.

So maybe Google is burying the lead here… perhaps Google is revealing that user intent is truly the strongest signal of them all. But then maybe we already knew that.

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