Home Forums Tech talk Google News: G is already implementing a separate ranking algo for mobile devices Reply To: Google News: G is already implementing a separate ranking algo for mobile devices

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Greg_M, post: 212262, member: 38207 wrote:
I’ve been following this thread with interest, and I agree we’re into unknown waters. I also agree that designing for the mobile is very different, and requires a paradigm shift in designing the interface.

BUT, given that putting a site into a good responsive framework is not that big a deal these days, why would you risk not doing it?…

…imo, load speed is an issue on mobile (especially living in a dodgy coverage area)…

I think the advent of hybrid apps will really shake up the space i.e. apps that are connected to the network but have access to the underlying hardware acceleration/storage/gestures.

It’s already possible to make these apps indexable and searchable.
Hi Greg M,
Thanks for your contribution. And, please forgive me if I repeat that I’m not anti mobile phone enhanced websites.

My two pet peeves in this Google mobile phone algo discussion are:

1. Google’s new algorithm is only part mobile phone-friendly.
2. The information needs of mobile and desktop users appear to be very different.

So, how can the same site structure and content equally deliver relevant referrals in generic SE results and how can it communincate equally to the needs of phone and desktop users?

Simply rendering an existing desktop site into a responsive design format may be a poor use of Internet marketing dollars.

1. Google’s new algorithm is only part mobile phone-friendly.
Google is not using mobile page load speed in its new algo. All the user studies tell us that this is the most desired attribute of mobile users. In all the market audits I’ve conducted, most mobile websites are way too slow to load. If this is not fixed, the risk is that people will start reading G’s “mobile friendly” tag as a “go slow” message.

I believe that at some point G will need to address load speed in its algo. Are we to design websites for it now or wait and ask clients for more dollars later?

Business Owners,
The research suggests that visitors leave a site that takes too long to load. I don’t care where your page ranks in the new G algo, if it takes 10 seconds to load, don’t expect many SE referrals!

I suggest you set your designer/developer a “no pay” performance parameter if your mobile pages don’t load first time above-the-fold in say, 3 seconds(?).

(Refs to quote your site developer:

Mobile consumers expect speed greater than many retailers are providing

“64% of smartphone users want a site to load within four seconds; 82% within five seconds”

Mobile Load Times for Responsive Sites Unacceptable

“…surveyed 155 responsive sites and found that just 21 percent were loading in less than four seconds on a smartphone. What’s worse, 32 percent of the sites surveyed took between 8-48 seconds to load.”)

2. Simply rendering an existing desktop site into a responsive design format may be a poor use of Internet marketing dollars.

In many cases, revising a website for the mobile phone web will require a rethink of content, structure and design. How can we make a good fist of this when at present we don’t know what the other mobile ranking parameters will be, let alone their importance and impact in the ranking algo?

What we have been told by G is that its “mobile-friendly” parameter has a fixed value in the ranking algo. G staff have also indicated that a non-mobile brand site is likely to out rank a mobile-friendly non-brand page in the results. That suggests to me that the fixed “mobile-friendly” factor is a significant but not a major ranking element.

I want to know what are the major ranking factors in the mobile algo before I advice clients on implementing what may be a significant investment.

I’m guessing that “location” will be a major mobile ranking factor. There are many ways that you can build and write location words into a website. Location word ranking point scores are not “fixed” like the “mobile-friendly” factor is said to be.

So, how important will a location word be in your web marketing? Will its mobile searching importance be high enough to cause you to skew both your desktop and mobile sites around it?

Your Home page content should rank its target search terms highest in ranking results. Does that mean:

  • You make your “Contact” page your Home page?
  • Will location words in domain names become more important?
  • What ranking tactics can a business that has no location search factor use?
  • How is a business going to target surrounding suburb location searches?

I could make a very long list of questions to which no one has the mobile phone SEO answers right now…

I think you are the first to raise the issue of apps in this thread. It is on these where most mobile phone Internet time is spent.

In its own announcement, G gave as much space to info about the new mobile algo indexing apps as to web pages (Finding more mobile-friendly search results).

Eg. I understand that there are many more people with Ebay and/or Amazon apps loaded onto their phones than there are active Twitter accounts.

Does this mean we recommend clients explore the cost/benefit of a phone app instead of blindly pushing them into a prematurely implemented mobile site?

BTW, here is G’s latest statement about the new mobile algo…

21 Apr 15: Ranking change to help you find mobile-friendly sites rolling out today

“Note that this (G’s definition of a mobile-friendly ranking factor) is just one of over 200 signals we use to evaluate the best results. Non-mobile-friendly sites won’t disappear from mobile Search results—they may still rank high if they hold great content the user wants.”