Mobile Friendly SEO Ranking Boost Gets Boosted in May
Generally speaking, Google’s April 2015 mobile-friendly algorithm update (dubbed “Mobilegeddon” by the SEO industry) was sort of a bust. Months of talk about an organic ranking boost to mobile-friendly, aka mobile SEO compliant, websites turned out to be mostly hype.
While the April 2015 Mobile-Friendly Update did spur many sites to make their sites better for smartphone users, there was not a lot of movement across mobile search engine results pages, especially at the top of SERPs. The mobile-friendly “boost” was seemingly implemented as a tiebreaker among sites that were deemed to have equal ranking strength — a condition that rarely occurs.
Google Turns Up the Volume on the Mobile-Friendly Boost
Another mobile ranking boost announcement has just come out of Google. The announcement says that they will be increasing the effect of the mobile friendly ranking signal in May of this year:
“Today we’re announcing that beginning in May, we’ll start rolling out an update to mobile search results that increases the effect of the ranking signal to help our users find even more pages that are relevant and mobile-friendly.”
And a later clarification: “If you’ve already made your site mobile-friendly, you will not be impacted by this update.”
So, if you’re mobile-friendly, you’re safe. And if we take Google at their word, we can assume that there are no ranking boosts for different “degrees” of mobile-friendliness.
An example of degrees of mobile friendliness might involve Google favoring sites that have implemented AMP or responsive design — two mobile-friendly implementations that Google has gone out of their way to endorse — with more pronounced ranking boosts than other “mobile-friendly” sites.
For now, it appears that the mobile-friendly status (and resulting ranking increase) is still a binary consideration; you either have it and enjoy the benefits or you don’t.
Come May, we’ll see if this latest change actually starts to shuffle the rankings more dramatically. We don’t suspect that Google wants to have two sets of ranking results — one for desktop and another mobile — but that could be on the horizon. Certainly, this news is cause to motivate any businesses still not mobile-friendly to move ahead toward that goal.