On April 21st, 2015, Google unleashed its latest algorithm update to the world. This is the first time in recent history that Google has annouced a release date for an update, so we knew that this could potentially be big. This change was said to outrank both Panda and Penguin in terms of its scale of impact on search engine results (SERPS), according to Google's Webmaster Trends analyst Zineb Ait Bahajji.
The change came down to one very important factor: whether your website, landing pages, and blog would be fully optimized for mobile.
Knowing this bit of information gave marketers, web teams, and companies time to figure out how to make sure their websites were buttoned up when it was rolled out.
Going into this update we knew Google would approve and give advantage to sites that look good on smartphone screens, and penalize sites with content that was too wide for a phone screen and text and links that are too small to read.
So, now that it has rolled out, what are the effects that it has had?
Many companies who blogged or wrote about the update were positioning this as a huge change that would effect your website. I feel though that they may or have left out some very important facts:
According to Google's official blog, this update:
- Affects only search rankings on mobile devices
- Affects search results in all languages globally
- Applies to individual pages, not entire websites
What we can decifer from this, is that while the alogrithm update did in-fact have an impact on website rankings, the information above in my opinion isn't as significant as we first thought. Even with my findings of analyzing some website data for sites that did not optimize for mobile, the backlash to date has been minimal. Now, I do believe that by 2015 all websites should have a mobile friendly version or just go full on responsive, I think that Google's announcement got everyone into a tail spin, that while it got the conversation going, was not nesscessary.