Posted by Cognito on Tue, Apr 21 2015

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The Google Mobile Algo Update - What's the Gist?

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Today, April 21st, marks an important day not only for those of us in the SEO game, but for businesses everywhere who are bracing themselves for Google’s apocalyptic update to their mobile algorithm, or ‘Mobile-geddon’ as many have dubbed it. Content may be king – but the message is clear. For Google, the user experience comes first.

The industry received a heads up when Google first announced its impending changes back in February, but for anybody who hasn’t yet had a chance to read up on the latest, Cognito can save you some time (and a lot of jargon-y words) by reading our executive rundown.

What in Tarnations is Going on?

Google is making a major update to its mobile search algorithm, favoring mobile-responsive websites when users search on their phones and ranking them higher. Others will be instantly demoted, affecting millions of sites.

What This Means for You

Small businesses aren’t the only ones who will feel the sting – several big brands have been guilty of mobile-unfriendly sites and must now optimize, or face a major ranking overhaul and diminished organic search traffic.

You can test whether your website is mobile friendly here.

Getting up to Speed with Google:

• Google has more than 90% share of search in Europe, and 65% in the US. About 60% of online traffic currently comes from mobile, giving Google good altruistic reason to want to improve users’ experience.

• There are hundreds of algorithm updates taking place every year that affect SEO and web page ranking. Some are shared with the public and given cutesy names, while most are not publicized at all.

• The first Panda algo update turned SEO on its head, with a clear mission to penalize websites touting duplicative, low-quality and spammy content. It didn’t just affect web traffic and visibility, but had a real impact on businesses’ revenue and stock prices.

• The Hummingbird update in August 2013 was a step in the direction of improving mobile-based SEO, in particular for voice queries. The order of words took on a more important role, along with the keyword context thanks to Google’s Knowledge Graph (which finds semantic meaning in a web search).

Today’s change outranks Panda as well as Penguin in terms of its scale of impact on search results.

In light of these changes, it’s clear that Google values not only fresh, original content but an experience that is reader-friendly and easy to engage with. To learn more about how to navigate the choices and challenges you may encounter when dealing with mobile optimization, feel free to give our resident expert a shout at

Communications, Content, Design, Marketing, Mobile Applications,
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