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

  • This topic is empty.
Viewing 15 posts - 16 through 30 (of 71 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #1179267
    PeteC
    Member
    • Total posts: 5
    Up
    0
    ::

    Avoid a penalty if you can
    In my experience recovering from Google algorithmic penalties is a problematic, often long winded and frustrating process. If the client is bleeding sales leads from poor ranking the process is very uncomfortable for all.

    Google sets the mobile test
    It is important that we understand that Google is using their own rules to judge if a site is mobile friendly. Just because it looks fine on your iPhone doesnt mean its going to pass their tests

    Penalty Recovery
    We haven’t seen the April 21 mobile update yet, let alone understanding how many hoops we’ll have to jump through to recover from it. Importantly we dont know what Google’s lead time will be to process our recovery plea and remove the penalty. Please don’t assume that if you promptly solve your site’s mobile usability issues post-penalty it will instantly & automatically recover. Frankly I wouldnt risk a Google penalty given a choice.

    Who is going to be impacted
    Sure techie sites like Moz might have a low representation of mobile users, but retail/fashion and ecommerce sites have significantly more mobile visitors and hence greater impact potential. Here’s some data from last 30 days from Aussie sites I manage:

    Entertainment: mobile 52% | desktop 15% | tablet 31%
    Finance/Business services : mobile 23% | desktop 70% | tablet 7 %
    Home renovation : mobile 15% | desktop 72% | tablet 11 %
    Health ecommerce : mobile 19% | desktop 61% | tablet 19 %
    Furniture: mobile 21% | desktop 53% | tablet 25 %

    Maybe you dont need a new website
    If you’re concerned about the costs of a complete website redevelopment this may not be required to get you over the line. Im currently reviewing a couple of solutions and will blog about these when I have sufficient details over at http://www.succinctideas.com.au

    #1179268
    JohnW
    Member
    • Total posts: 2,642
    Up
    0
    ::
    PeteC, post: 210125 wrote:
    Who is going to be impacted
    Sure techie sites like Moz might have a low representation of mobile users, but retail/fashion and ecommerce sites have significantly more mobile visitors and hence greater impact potential. Here’s some data from last 30 days from Aussie sites I manage:

    Entertainment: mobile 52% | desktop 15% | tablet 31%
    Finance/Business services : mobile 23% | desktop 70% | tablet 7 %
    Home renovation : mobile 15% | desktop 72% | tablet 11 %
    Health ecommerce : mobile 19% | desktop 61% | tablet 19 %
    Furniture: mobile 21% | desktop 53% | tablet 25 %
    Hi PeteC,
    Thanks for contributing these industry categories.

    I ran a few of my client’s mobile access stats. For last month they were:

    3 x offline retailers = 39% (ave.) mobile
    2 x alternative medicine clinics = 29% ave.
    Catering service = 17%
    B2B wholesaler = 11%
    Industrial manufacturer = 11%
    2 x web designers = 8% ave. (Neither is me. I don’t offer this service)

    These are all up around the 80% mark for generic SE referrals but there is a huge difference between mobile and other devices when you look at “time on site” and “bounce rates”.

    Mobile being a fraction of the other devices for “time on site” and with a much higher “bounce rate”.

    Given how high the mobile numbers are for businesses where their location is a service delivery essential, my guess is that a lot of the mobile searchers are simply looking up their websites for contact details or addresses.

    Regs,
    JohnW

    #1179269
    PeteC
    Member
    • Total posts: 5
    Up
    0
    ::

    Hi JohnW
    Maybe the high mobile bounce rate is due to the site’s poor mobile compatibly?
    Mobile users struggle to use the site, get frustrated & leave…?

    #1179270
    JohnW
    Member
    • Total posts: 2,642
    Up
    0
    ::
    PeteC, post: 210288 wrote:
    Hi JohnW
    Maybe the high mobile bounce rate is due to the site’s poor mobile compatibly?
    Mobile users struggle to use the site, get frustrated & leave…?
    Hi PeteC,
    No doubt there are factors like this in there but we also need to consider others like:

    1. People need to find phone numbers to use their smartphones.
    2. A lot of smartphone searches are for “just-in-time” info. Eg Product availability, prices, coupons, discounts, specials, etc.
    3. And a bunch are for location based information – addresses, directions to nearest shops or services, etc.

    There are many surveys out now indicating that a lot of Smartphone info searches are quite different to those made on PCs.

    Egs:
    Pew Institute’s Research: Mobile Technology Fact Sheet

    ComScore Research: 56 Pct. Of “On The Go” Searches Have Local Intent

    There are so many searches on smartphones for types of info that are irrelevant to people seated at desktops.

    This then begs the questions, how should we be structuring websites for the smartphone world and what content should we be publishing on their Home pages?

    I don’t have answers at this stage, simply more questions. It seems to me likely that the magnitude of G’s mobile algo changes will have a major impact on how we structure and organise website content in the near future.
    Regs,
    JohnW

    #1179271
    JohnW
    Member
    • Total posts: 2,642
    Up
    0
    ::

    Hi All,
    Another article reporting Google employee’s comments about the new smartphome algo…

    6 Mar 15: Google Mobile-Friendly Algorithm Currently Doesn’t Differentiate Some Desktop Ranking Signals
    “there are still many desktop signals used for mobile ranking, including page speed…”

    “Having a slow or fast mobile site should not impact your mobile-rankings, assuming your desktop site is fast. Google still uses many desktop signals for mobile ranking, even after April 21st.”

    “But for algorithms like Penguin or Panda, it makes less sense to break them out on a mobile vs. desktop basis…”

    So, how do we configure, design, structure and SEO a mobile website to attract more SE referrals with the new Google smartphone algorithm?

    All the clues so far seem to be as clear as mud.

    I’m still betting on the intitial changes being relatively small compared to what the algo will be like in 12 months time and that non-mobile factors such as location, desktop speed and Universal search will be more important in the initial algo release than any factors reported in G’s mobile-friendly analysis tools.

    Given all the levers that G can pull, chances are I’m wrong but it’s equally likely so is everyone else.

    I’m advising my clients that big changes are imminent but that they hold off on activating a mobile site until we have some facts about the mobile algo to work on.
    Regs,
    JohnW

    #1179272
    MatthewKeath
    Member
    • Total posts: 3,184
    Up
    0
    ::

    Hi,

    I am advising my clients, like I have for the last three years, to ensure they have a responsive website.

    The fact Google is sending people webmaster tool notifications telling people telling people to ensure their website is mobile friendly is not enough for some, but it’s one (damn good) more reason for me.

    Cheers,

    Matt

    #1179273
    MatthewKeath
    Member
    • Total posts: 3,184
    Up
    0
    ::

    Another article: http://searchengineland.com/much-traffic-will-lose-upcoming-mobile-seo-pocalypse-216564

    If Moz is making its site mobile before the change from Google, that is another indication for all businesses.

    #1179274
    JohnW
    Member
    • Total posts: 2,642
    Up
    0
    ::
    MatthewKeath, post: 210690 wrote:
    Hi,

    I am advising my clients, like I have for the last three years, to ensure they have a responsive website.

    The fact Google is sending people webmaster tool notifications telling people telling people to ensure their website is mobile friendly is not enough for some, but it’s one (damn good) more reason for me.
    Cheers,
    Matt
    Hi Matt,
    We are in complete agreement about the need for mobile enhancement for any new site.

    My message seems to be getting lost…

    I’m trying to address what will be the SEO tactics needed in the smartphone algo world.

    Let me offer some observations:

    • The one constant we have from G over its entire life is that its primary goal is to deliver the most RELEVANT results.
    • Technical problems aside, nothing in Google Webmaster Tools currently has any impact on SE ranking
    • Technical problems aside, no current Google warnings have any impact on SE ranking
    • Nothing in the mobile speed and usability test tools currently have any significant impact on SE rankings. (Slow load speed is currently hurting around 1% of desktop websites.)

    It seems we have a lot of folk turning to webmaster tool and G’s speed and user-friendliness tools as they believe this is where SEO tactics will go in the smartphone era.

    My question is, why?

    The purpose of these tools is currently for problem diagnosis. G has never used them to address search result RELEVANCE in its algo.

    I can’t find a recent estimate for how many websites are smartphone enabled. I’m going to offer a very subjective assessment that it is closer to 10% than 90%. That includes all the mobile sites that are twice as slow as non-mobile sites.

    So what is G likely to do with its mobile algo?

    IMHO, it will not have enough mobile websites with fast load speed and user friendliness to provide RELEVANT information.

    IMHO, G is more likely to use ranking parameters such as:

    • location
    • Universal search,
    • “query deserves freshness”
    • Youtube videos
    • Certain schema signals
    • Brand/company search

    This is just my opinion based on studying SEs and the consequential logic applied to how the G algo works as we currently know it.

    If I get three out of these six predictions right I will be elated.

    I will not be surprised to learn that G will make many huge changes to how its smartphone algo and index works over the next few years. IMHO, its initial smartphone algo is likely to be “small beer”.
    Regs,
    JohnW

    #1179275
    MatthewKeath
    Member
    • Total posts: 3,184
    Up
    0
    ::

    Glad we are in agreement.

    Everyone, if you website fails the Google test, found here: https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/mobile-friendly/ you need to chat to your dev to get it sorted or you may find you will start losing mobile traffic.

    #1179276
    John Romaine
    Participant
    • Total posts: 1,108
    Up
    0
    ::

    There’s talk of this pending mobile update being more relentless than both Penguin and Panda combined.

    Google cares about user experience. Big time.

    If you don’t have a responsive (mobile friendly) website, you can kiss your mobile search rankings goodbye.

    #1179277
    JohnW
    Member
    • Total posts: 2,642
    Up
    0
    ::

    Hi All,
    This seems to be the latest video offering from Google on its smartphone algorithm changes….

    25 Mar 15: “Google Clarifies The Mobile-Friendly Algorithm Will Roll Out Over A Week, Be A Yes/No Response & More

    Be warned, it is a “techie” talk fest around an hour long…

    As usual, we only get a few factual gems and the rest we have to read between the lines based on our knowledge of SEs and SEO.

    A few “gems” in it to me were:

    1. The Smartphone Algo
    If you listen to the video, be aware that the new Google algo only pertains to smartphones. The presenters seem to slip into talking about the total mobile search market (meaning searches on Ipads and tablets as well as smartphones). Mobile searches on tablets and Ipads will continue to use the desktop algorithm.

    2. Hundreds of Parameters in Mobile Algo
    There are at least three references in this video to the “hundreds” of ranking factors in the new smartphone algo.

    3. The Mobile-friendly Ranking Component
    The smartphone “mobile-friendly” parameter is described as an “on or off” or “yes/no” parameter. I assume that means there will be a fixed ranking “boost” imparted in the search results to web pages that are “mobile-friendly”.

    4. Significance of the Mobile-friendly Parameter in Ranking Results
    A question in the video: “Would a non-mobile friendly brand site be out-ranked by a mobile friendly non-brand site for a brand search?

    The Google answer: (Following another reference to all the other ranking factors in the algo,) “I would be surprised if a mobile non-brand site out-ranked a non-mobile brand site for a brand search.

    5. What G Says About the Smartphone Algo.
    (Webmaster Central Blog. Finding more mobile-friendly search results)

    The first sentence is, “When it comes to search on mobile devices, users should get the most relevant and timely results“.

    Two things the smartphone “mobile-friendly” ranking parameter can’t do is offer any impact on “relevant and timely results”.

    So, what will be the factors in the Smartphone algorithm that provide G’s primary objectives of “relevant and timely results”?

    Guess we will have to wait to find out the answers to this question.
    Regs,
    JohnW

    #1179278
    bb1
    Participant
    • Total posts: 4,485
    Up
    0
    ::

    So I guess when a website comes up on the google bot with the following results it wont rank very well on a mobile.

    Not mobile-friendly
    Page appears not mobile-friendly

    ✕ Text too small to read

    ✕ Links too close together

    ✕ Mobile viewport not set

    ✕ Content wider than screen

    #1179279
    Cesar
    Member
    • Total posts: 591
    Up
    0
    ::

    In general, the most important thing to keep in mind, is your customer. Your website, without a doubt, needs to be “Full Responsive”, so it can be seen clearly formatted and professional on all platforms.

    JohnW has some good points, but at the end of the day, technology advances, and we have to keep up, or we get left behind. I changed my site to a full-responsive design, because after all the hard work I’ve put in to get a lot of great organic traffic, there was no way I was putting that at risk.

    I just love seeing all those professionally laid-out responsive sights on my mobile, when searching for something. At least, I don’t have to squint my eyes or do split exercises with my fingers..

    #1179280
    JohnW
    Member
    • Total posts: 2,642
    Up
    0
    ::
    anddyscort02, post: 0 wrote:
    So ranking will show different in desktop and mobile ?
    We need to work different ?

    please explain me more about this.
    Hi Andy,
    The ranking algorithm will be different on smartphones.

    Desktops and tablets on mobile will use the same search ranking algorithm.

    That does not mean desktop and mobile tablet search results will be the same as factors like the location of the searcher can have an impact on the search results.

    There are hundreds of different parameters involved in determining Google’s search results.

    We know that one new parameter is being introduced to the smartphone ranking algorithm and that is “mobile-friendliness”. This will give an unspecified boost in ranking to web pages that pass the mobile-friendly test. We don’t know how much of a boost this will add and we don’t know what other ranking parameters will be changed in the smartphone ranking algorithm.
    Regs,
    JohnW

    #1179281
    JohnW
    Member
    • Total posts: 2,642
    Up
    0
    ::
    bb1, post: 211082 wrote:
    So I guess when a website comes up on the google bot with the following results it wont rank very well on a mobile.

    Not mobile-friendly
    Page appears not mobile-friendly

    ✕ Text too small to read

    ✕ Links too close together

    ✕ Mobile viewport not set

    ✕ Content wider than screen
    Hi Bert,
    Not quite correct…

    The elements you outline are all part of the single “mobile-friendly” ranking parameter that will be one of hundreds that G. will use to assess search rankings on mobile phones.

    The bit we don’t know is what impact this single factor will have on ranking results vs all the other smartphone algo changes.

    Google staff in the video referenced above say that they don’t expect a mobile-friendly non-brand site to out rank a non-mobile brand site for a brand search.

    Eg: If someone searches for “(your company name) phone” on their smartphone and you don’t have a mobile-friendly site, the expectation is that your page should still out rank a mobile-friendly site that qualifies for the search results list.

    Ranking will be dependent on three important issues:

    1. How many of the search phrase competitors are mobile-friendly?

    2. What are the other ranking parameters that will be different in the smartphone algo?

    3. What is the level of competition for the specific search phrase?

    I can’t find any recent figures on how many websites currently pass the mobile-friendly test. I read one estimate that was over a year old that claimed only 10% of websites were mobile enabled. I still see very few mobile web pages in search results. I suspect the numbers are still a small minority.

    We know that G already uses location of the searcher and the website in its ranking algo. What if G elevates the importance of this “signal” in the smartphone algo 1,000 times? In theory, it could far out-weigh the importance of the simple “mobile-friendly” ranking boost.

    Then there is “timeliness” which G says will be a critical parameter. A lot of mobile phone searches seem to be for time sensitive info like jobs, classifieds, houses, specials, prices, deals, products in stock. Hypothetically, G could also make information freshness 1,000 times more important in its mobile phone ranking algo than its desktop algo.

    In theory, either of these two ranking parameters could blow the on/off ranking attributes of “mobile-friendliness” out of the mobile ranking water.

    The invisible elephant in the room is page load speed. All the surveys say that load speed is by far the most important factor for mobile phone users. The initial mobile-friendly tool does not address this mission critical measure of mobile-friendliness. G has said that it is experimenting with this attribute but that it will continue to use the load speed of the desktop version of the site in its mobile phone ranking algo.

    All of this suggests to me that we are in for years of major changes around how G assesses and ranks web pages on mobile phones.

    The bottom line to me…

    • Yes, we will need to develop a mobile friendly website.
    • The only debate in my mind should be about when do we do it and how much should we design around load speed?

    Do we rush in now when we only know about one infrequently used mobile ranking parameter or do we hold for a few more weeks until we have better info about some of the other factors that may have a much larger impact on mobile phone search results?

    To my mind, it does not matter where a page ranks in the search results. If it takes too long to load on a mobile phone, people won’t wait for it. (“40% of people abandon a website that takes more than 3 seconds to load.” How Loading Time Affects Your Bottom Line) The speed issue could have a dramatic impact on future mobile website design, structure, functionality and content.
    Regs,
    JohnW

Viewing 15 posts - 16 through 30 (of 71 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.