April 22, 2015

The Comprehensive Guide to the New Google Mobile Algorithm

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Michael Jenkins
Michael Jenkins

CEO - Shout Agency
[email protected]


Come April 21st, searches on Google will differ vastly from the previous night. Why? They are creating a new Google mobile algorithm that will affect desktop too.
Before the big change, we want to discuss how this affects your business. Therefore, below is a review of the changes and how to make sure you are complying with the new Google mobile algorithm changes.

Why are they changing their Google mobile algorithm?

Before we get into how to prepare for the new search changes it is worth evaluating why Google is making this such a big priority.
The fact is that Google Android is the largest mobile operating system in the world with over 1 Billion devices shipped in 2014 alone. Comparatively, Apple’s iOS only sold 192.7 million during that time.
Because of the tremendous growth of Google Android, the Google Play store is now the largest mobile app store in the world. They outpaced downloads on the Apple Store by over 60%.
Finally, 2014 was a landmark year for the internet. It was the first time that mobile outpaced desktop internet usage since the internet began over 40 years ago.
Because of smarter tablets and mobile devices, people are actively using the web wherever they go. In fact, 63.1% of smartphone users access the internet via their mobile devices.
This is a seismic shift in how we interact with the web, and Google wants to be prepared.

Understand the Algorithm

Now that we know why Google is making the changes, let’s understand more about how the new Google algorithm works?
First, each website page is assessed for mobile friendliness.
Compared to the standard practice of getting a friendly ranking for your website, this is a bit of a departure for Google.
Second, the new mobile search algorithm operates in real time.
This means any changes happen immediately. Traditionally, it takes time for any algorithm changes or rankings to filter throughout the system.
Third, mobile website apps are now be indexed for mobile searches.
According to the Google Webmaster report, Android apps may now be indexed in Google searches.

How can you prepare

First, make sure your site is mobile-friendly right now.
To check whether your is mobile friendly, you have two options. Either use the Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test page, or check your website on a Google search to determine if it is mobile-friendly.
First, the easiest way to determine if your site is mobile-friendly is through the new tool on Google. The Mobile-Friendly Test shows you whether your site is up to standards.
Second, if you want to double check whether your website is truly mobile ready, then do a Google search. Underneath your website in grey lettering you should see the words Mobile-Friendly. Then you have verification from Google your site is ready for the algorithm change.
Second, address the mobile usability issues in the Google Webmaster Tools Mobile test.
If your website did not pass the test, then it is time to address these issues before the upcoming deadline.
Fortunately, Google Webmaster provides you with a list of corrections to ensure that your mobile traffic is secure.
Third, index any associated Android app associated with your site.
As we discussed above, Google is now showing mobile apps on mobile searches. This means you now have an added entry point on Google mobile searches for clients to find you.
To ensure your app gets found on Google search you need to do two things. First, index your app like you would a website. Second, create a deep link to that to ensure that your website and app are connected to each.
By taking these steps, you can then ensure that both the app and the website have a good chance of being found on Google searches.

How does this affect your Desktop Search?

The big question is that if 50% of all searches are done through mobile now, how does this affect desktop searches?
And the answer is that it might not or it might. I hope you enjoyed the definitiveness of that answer, but the reality is that Google is just moving over to a more mobile friendly algorithm. That means not all of the signals they use on a desktop search affect mobile searches and vice versa. This will continue to change as Google smooth out the launch of their new algorithm.
However, you still need to provide quality content and ensure relevant content on each page is at the top of the page and easy for users to find. By doing this, you ensure the best results for desktop and mobile searches.

Final Thoughts

In 2012 when the Panda and Penguin changes first came out, search engine marketers thought that those were major changes to the system. The upcoming changes to mobile search dwarf those changes in comparison.
It marks the dawning of a truly new era in search. No longer is search only about the internet, but it is also about mobile searching wherever you are on the planet.
To accomplish this ambitious goal, Google needs website developers to create sites that help consumers find information quickly and easily on a mobile device. The new changes to the Google mobile algorithm provides the framework.
This is why all businesses marketing their websites online must have a mobile friendly website. The content they create must be as easy to read on an iPhone as it is on a 27 inch desktop computer.
Otherwise, users will look for new sources of information to find the best ways to search for products in a mobile environment. Marketers who keep up with the new Google mobile algorithm are therefore rewarded for providing the highest quality information possible to consumers in a useable way.

Book a free 45 minute consultation today.

    Book a free 45 minute consultation today.

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      As Founder and Director of Shout Web Strategy, Michael Jenkins is at the forefront of digital marketing. Since it’s inception in 2009, Shout has built a strong reputation as one of Australia’s leading strategic SEO agencies, assisting online businesses to formulate, implement and track successful marketing strategies. Michael is a respected thought leader and digital strategist, specialising in online strategy, corporate SEO, Google retargeting, email and conversion rate optimisation, and online reputation management. Follow Michael on Google+, connect with him through LinkedIn or visit the Shout Web Strategy website.

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