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Will the mobile update happen?

   
3:43 pm on Apr 22, 2014 (gmt 0)

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There were posts on here from well over a year ago (and all around the web for that matter) warning of the impending “mobile” update, sites that didn’t have a proper mobile version were going to be ranked lower than sites that provided a mobile user experience on the mobile SERPS.

Lots of people panicked, lots of people rushed out and demanded mobile versions, lots of people sold responsive designs off the fear.

A year later and I see no evidence of this in anything I watch. Do we have any idea when this will happen, will it happen?

Was it google FUD? Was it just SEO columnists/article writers spreading the idea because they had no other advise on link building to repeat/repackage that week? (a bit like how important social signals were).

Anyone think its already happened? Opinions?
4:47 pm on Apr 22, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Was it google FUD?

Nope, they've qualified their statements about it every time I've heard them talk about it.

Was it just SEO columnists/article writers spreading the idea because they had no other advise on link building to repeat/repackage that week? (a bit like how important social signals were).

Not exactly -- SEO's need work too, and what's easier than to create a bit of FUD by leaving the *may be* and *in mobile search* qualifications Google uses when talking about the impact of having a mobile version of a site, then selling current customers on "how absolutely necessary it is if they don't want their site to be ranked lower...", while leaving off the *on mobile* and forgetting to mention the *may be* pre-qualifier.

Basically, the SEO community edited "may be ranked lower for mobile searches" to something like "You have to have a mobile version or your site's in danger of not ranking."

Anyone think its already happened?

Absolutely -- I think it's an ongoing separation, but a "good pitch" about a mobile version or not having a mobile version impacting your "desktop" rankings doesn't mean it's ever going to happen.

A site doesn't provide lower quality information or a worse experience to a desktop user if there's not a mobile version any more than a site that concentrates only on mobile and somehow "explodes" on a desktop monitor provides a worse experience for mobile users since it's unusable on a desktop.

They're two different platforms, with two different types of user/uses and I would expect there will be more and more separation in the rankings from one to the other, but I don't see how it would make sense to "demote" a site that provides great information [eg WebmasterWorld] for desktop users, but doesn't have a great mobile experience and can't really cut the info down to a "bite-sized chunk" to give mobile users who are on the go.

BTW: Have you ever tried to use WebmasterWorld on mobile? It's next to impossible.
5:25 pm on Apr 22, 2014 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member lucy24 is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time Top Contributors Of The Month



Have you ever tried to use WebmasterWorld on mobile? It's next to impossible.

Phone or tablet? Reading and typing may be entirely different things. There was a recent thread in which one person claimed he* habitually reads WebmasterWorld on a mobile-- with the post to prove it! Can't find the ### thing now.


* I'm sticking to "he" here, although past history suggests I am probably wrong.
6:35 pm on Apr 22, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Phone or tablet? Reading and typing may be entirely different things.


Yes, and the reading experience on phones varies quite a bit, too. Our main desktop site requires zooming on an iPhone (at least in portrait orientation) but on my son's Nexus phone, the text is perfectly readable as is.

Getting back on topic, I'd take Google at their word when they suggest that mobile-friendly design (or the lack thereof) may be a ranking factor in mobile search. That just makes sense. (I'd expect the opposite, too: An "m dot example dot com" page probably wouldn't and shouldn't get the number one slot on many desktop SERPs.)
8:19 pm on Apr 22, 2014 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member netmeg is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



All I know is, for some searches, I get different results on my iPhone than I do on my laptop.