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Will Google’s latest mobile-friendly update be Mobilegeddon II for your website?

Google has confirmed that a second update designed to reward  sites that meet its mobile-friendly guidelines has been fully rolled out.

John Mueller, Google’s webmaster trends analyst, confirmed via his Twitter account that the update first announced on Google’s Webmaster Central blog back in March has now been fully launched.

The post, titled ‘Continuing to make the web more friendly’, discussed the work that started with the mobile-friendly algorithm update last year and revealed plans to roll out a second mobile update in May.

If your site is already mobile-friendly, you shouldn’t notice any changes. But if your site fails Google’s mobile test it’s now more likely that your pages will drop down the rankings for anyone searching on a smartphone or tablet.

Mobilegeddon: Act one

In April last year Google released the first update that would transform the way search works for mobile users. The mobile-friendly search algorithm was designed to provide timely and relevant results for mobile users, favouring sites and pages that were more user friendly for those accessing them from mobile devices.

In the following months, sites that had failed to optimise their pages for mobile unsurprisingly suffered a decrease to their search rankings, whereas those who did were moved up the ladder.

The release was dubbed as ‘Mobilegeddon’ by web developers, which made sense given the adverse effect it was predicted to have on nearly 40 per cent of sites. Google itself warned that the update would be bigger than its Panda and Penguin updates.

Who the ‘Mobilegeddon 2’ update will affect and how

For sites that have already optimised their pages for mobile devices, Google predicts there will be little to no effect this time around.

“If you’ve already made your site mobile-friendly, you will not be impacted by this update,” Google said in its March blog post.

However, for those that have yet to become mobile friendly, the hit could be bigger than the first round. These sites run the risk of their pages getting pushed down in search rankings, and possibly not appearing in mobile searches at all.

Smartphones and tablets are accounting for an increasingly large share of the total time we spend online. Google is keen for website owners to improve how their sites look on mobiles as a poor user experience behind the links it serves up in search results threatens its enormous ad revenues.

As well as adjusting its algorithm to favour mobile-friendly sites, Google has also launched Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP), an open platform designed to help website owners offer a quicker, smoother mobile experience.

If you’re worried about how your site performs on mobile devices you can run Google’s free Mobile Friendly Test or check out its Webmaster Mobile Guide.

 

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