On April 21, Google once again altered the structure of the web in the last “significant” update to Google Search Algorithm since Panda 1.0. The move will refashion search results with a clear preference for mobile-optimized sites. You might have already seen substantial changes in the amount of traffic to your site, or even to specific landing pages.
The following is a concise, strategic understanding of the update, so you can plan your continued response and bear the update as gracefully as possible.
Real-time updates to the mobile score
Google Search Algorithm updates focus on weeding out the spammers from the high-quality pages that share new insights, products, and information. The result of this was a lasting quality score, a scarlet letter in the case of low-quality sites, which could only be changed over time. This update is qualitatively different.
For starters, the mobile optimization score will change in “real-time.” Every time your site is crawled, the score will change to reflect its current optimization, with no weight given to previous scores. Immediate redemption means that even if this article is the first you have heard about this, you can take action and see immediate results.
The Mobile Algorithm assesses individual web pages, not web sites
The algorithm change will assess websites on a page-by-page basis, not looking at the website as a whole. This means that the mobile optimization score on any given page will not impact the score of any other page – even if the two pages are on the same site. Again, this is a significant break from the Google norm, allowing webmasters and bloggers to reconcile their optimization issues moving forward.
The traffic received for previously published (but non-mobile-optimized) content might reduce, but the reputation score for that content will remain unaffected, and it will not hurt the score for any other pages. Webmasters do not need to concern themselves with eradicating or updating every single page on the site, BUT… high performing old pages might see a drop in visitors if they are not updated.
You can test any page of your website with the Google mobile friendly test, but be sure to check pages individually. If changes are necessary, start with the most important pages and work your way back.
Now that we have set the foundation with the basic information about the Google mobile update, we are ready to shift into a higher gear. Come back next week for a discussion about what this means for how businesses will communicate in the future.