It was something that many believed has been in the pipeline for a while now and it has finally been confirmed. Google’s much vaunted mobile friendly update for their algorithm has been rolled out in select areas, which suggests that it will soon need to be factored in as part of any online marketing campaigns in the very near future.
The company spoke about the update on Tuesday 21st April, though most people will not have seen signs of it just yet. It appears that the company is looking to take things a little bit slowly and work out any kinks that they discover before rolling it out internationally.
However, there are a number of reports from webmasters who claim that they are now seeing some form of impact in mobile searches, and it is likely that a few people who search using mobile devices may have picked up on some tell tale signs themselves.
Google’s own John Mueller, who many will recognise as being one of the most important figures in the company’s search division, confirmed that the algorithm update has been implemented in a few of their data centres, though the full rollout will likely take upwards of a week to complete.
For the time being this means that users may see somewhat chaotic search results, at least on mobile devices, as searches vary between data centres where the algorithm has taken effect and those where it hasn’t.
Mueller himself commented on the changes, stating: “It’s definitely rolling out. I know in some of the data centers its already rolled out completely. So that is something where I think you will probably see that change over the course of a week, maybe a week and a half – something like that.
From the first day to the next day, I don’t think you’ll see a big change. But if you compare last week to next week, then you should see a big change.
And I’ve seen some blog posts out there have noticed it’s different, and tried to document the difference between the desktop results and new mobile results. So there are definitely people noticing it.”
So what does this mean for webmasters? If nothing else it shows that the importance of having a mobile-friendly website is at its peak, which is something that most should have already realised given the amount of searches that are conducted using mobile devices on a daily basis.
As such, any company that has delayed in making a mobile-friendly version of their website must not start to put serious consideration into whether or not to invest. With mobile search on the rise, as recent estimates claim that as much as 46% of people using mobile devices exclusively, any company that isn’t appealing to this large segment of the audience may find themselves falling behind.
If this algorithm update accomplishes what it aims to accomplish then we may see more variance between mobile and desktop search than ever before. Websites that are well ranked on searches made using regular computers could see their rankings tank for mobile devices if they don’t have a robust site in place.
While the overall effects may take a month or two to really show themselves, it is more important than it has ever been to consider the mobile sector in your search marketing efforts.
Check out the video below to see the Google Hangout conversation where John Mueller reveals that the update is being rolled out: