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.

mobile seo ranking boost may 2016

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.

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Robert Ramirez is the senior SEO manager for Ticketmaster. Prior to joining Ticketmaster, Robert worked for several years as the SEO manager for Bruce Clay, Inc. With many years of internet marketing experience, Robert's passion for SEO and offering exceptional service to clients in markets large and small is well documented. A self-professed tech-geek and sports addict, when Robert isn't busy working on one of his websites, you can usually find him rooting for his favorite Los Angeles sports team. Follow him on Twitter.

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Comments (21)
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21 Replies to “Mobile Friendly SEO Ranking Boost Gets Boosted in May”

Yes, Google is now updating its own algorithm factor-related mobile site ranking like recently changes Core updated but it’s a rolling out now, its a very difficult to understand the all factors.

Robert, thanks for this article!

Must say, quite interesting post!

As you mentioned above, Last time when mobile-friendly algorithm update (Mobilegeddon) came into action everybody moved towards mobile friendly website. It will be interesting to see if again mobile friendly algorithm rolled out another update that expected to come out this month (May).


Thanks for the article Robert! I’m very interested to see how much weight this mobile update will have…Also, Today is May 1st I’m curious to know if there is a specific execution date or it could be any day now? thanks again!

I will believe it when i see it !

Hi Robert!
Thanks for the reminder. We will keep this point in our mind.

Google’s mobile-friendly algorithm update last April was like a nightmare for search engine professionals and webmasters. Several SEO professional in various forums have discussed about this algorithm update and most of them have come to a conclusion that it is time to do mobile-friendly websites and optimize them accordingly. This literally means that websites which are not responsive or mobile-friendly will be penalized by the search engine GIANT.

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.

Finally, there is some good news for mobile friendly websites

Virginia Nussey

Right there with you, Mark! Looking forward to a boosted boost for all the word we did to make sites mobile friendly.

Google also changes in mobile friendly ranking factor. Thanks for the information Robert.

I think in the recent past Barry and other well known SEO professionals have observed that there is some difference in rankings for queries in Desktop & in Mobile searches. I think if we compare AMP with responsive design then for sure AMP will going to win this battle easily!

A lot of people who are actually web professionals blew off the Mobilegeddon warnings as “scare tactics” when things didn’t reshuffle drastically. But Google always gives people a lot of warning before the lower the boom.

What people don’t get is they see these things as “hoops” that Google wants people to jump through. But in reality, all Google wants is to serve the best search results possible. Sites that are illegible or unusable on a phone or mobile devices are poor results, and they don’t want their search results to have bad UX.

Hopefully, people will wake up this time. Because why wouldn’t you want to make it easy for customers to browse your site? It’s the right thing to do.

Every website needs to be mobile friendly, in the coming days we will wait for the serp improvement.

Thank you. This tool gives a clear focus on each and every module in a simplified manner. It’s definitely made my life easier.

Great Work Robert, Google update his algorithm, Now also changes in mobile friendly ranking factor. Thanks for sharing

Hi Robert Ramirez,

Mobile Ranking boost in may, wow ! That’s what i expect, most of my websites are mobile friendly and waiting for serp improvement.

Hi Robert,
Thanks for the information.

Last year google released its mobile algorithm which gives more preference to mobile friendly websites in SERP’s and now again google focusing on mobile responsive websites.

Hey Robert,

Google announced increase in mobile-friendly update factors, but don’t expect another Mobilegeddon. Thanks for Sharing this informative posts. It was interesting and full of infos that i ought to know. Shall come back again.

Hi Robert,
Thanks for the information. Google AMP project is going to rule in coming days. They already asked to use AMP for making the mobile pages faster.


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