Technology

Google says its mobile search algorithm update will be “mobiletopia” not “mobilegeddon”

Andrew Sadauskas /

Google has published a series of blog posts aimed at website owners defending the latest update to its search algorithms, while clearing up some of the common misconceptions around the update.

SEO experts have warned business owners will be penalised in Google search results if they don’t have a mobile-friendly website as the result of a major update, dubbed ‘mobilegeddon’ by some, which rolled out earlier this week.

In defending the update, Google cited research showing 72% of mobile web users prefer mobile-friendly websites and 67% are more likely to buy from a mobile-friendly site.

For website owners, Google has posted a detailed FAQ on its Webmaster Central blog, saying sites will be assessed on a page-by-page basis rather than site-wide and the update will take a week to be rolled out to its entire index. The FAQ also clarifies that different mobile website methods, such as responsive web design (RWD), separate mobile URLs and dynamic page serving, will all benefit equally from the update.

Google further explained in three blog posts that the update will have no effect on search results from desktop computers or tablets and that mobile-friendliness is just one of 200 signals it uses to determine the ranking of pages. It also said while pages that aren’t mobile friendly will rank lower in search results, they won’t be removed from its search index.

The search giant encouraged website owners who are unsure how mobile-friendly their sites are to use its mobile-friendly test or to check the mobile usability report in Webmaster Tools, and said website owners updating their site to be mobile-friendly site should notify Google here.

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Andrew Sadauskas

Andrew Sadauskas is a former journalist at SmartCompany and a former editor of TechCompany.

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