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Google mobile algo to be bigger than Panda / Penguin as deadline looms

     
8:54 am on Mar 19, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Gary Illyes retweeted
Aleyda Solis @aleyda Mar 17
Zineb from Google at #smx Munich about the mobile ranking update: is going to have a bigger effect than penguin and panda! [twitter.com...] .
In case you know someone who hasn't heard, you might want to forewarn them of the impending intensity of this.

I wonder if the algorithm will allow a quicker reprieve for those that go under, but are mobile friendly afterwards, or, if it makes those who are putting in late changes more vulnerable, as the algorithm might be baking already, as the deadline looms.

Anyone you know not heard / caring ; other thoughts ?
2:04 am on Apr 16, 2015 (gmt 0)

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we are seeing a dumb down to 320 for mobiles

"dumb down?" No, hardly. This type of thinking comes from those without imagination. If all you can come up with is dumbing down your desktop site to make a mobile site then you just don't get the mobile experience at all. Think outside the box. Use your imagination. Do the research. Do the work. Reinvent your web presence and get out and seize your traffic. Don't settle for just "dumb down."
2:29 am on Apr 16, 2015 (gmt 0)

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@keyplyr... Some sites (mine for example) as text pages that fit any screen (viewport) other than some images of certain size... The floats that I use will fill the full desktop, as a bonus, We may be talking over each other and saying the same thing from different points of view.

But there is no doubt that the upcoming g algo for mobile WILL BE CHECKING VIEwPORT and that will break many successful desktop/laptop/table designs... and that is not insignificant.

The real question is: DO YOU NEED TO CHANGE for mobile? Most will first ask: DO I MAKE MONEY with mobile? IF the answer is NO then the reason to change is lessened, if nothing else.

This change, after all, is for the MOBILE SERPS... a niche of the bigger, more grand, Google Search... about 40% if the numbers said above are any indication. A 40$ with a 2% income (at best).

I'll follow the money for now.

And did make the RWD changes to float (or hide) some sections without changing ANY OF MY CONTENT.

Not all websites can do that... as I said, most of mine are informational and text can scale/fit any dimension quite easily.
2:55 am on Apr 16, 2015 (gmt 0)

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The real question is: DO YOU NEED TO CHANGE for mobile? Most will first ask: DO I MAKE MONEY with mobile? IF the answer is NO then the reason to change is lessened, if nothing else.

And I say many webmasters will never know their mobile audience UNTIL they serve a mobile friendly web site.

Example - my main site is info/ecom. Prior to rebuilding for responsive-mobile, I would see about 200 to 500 mobile visitors a day. They'd hit a page or two then leave quickly. Sales were minimal.

3 months after going mobile-responsive this same site now gets an additional 2k to 3k daily mobile users and growing (this is in addition to my daily desktop users.) Product sales have increased (however mobile is less than desktop, but this may change,) Adsense income has quadrupled due to mobile responsive ads and continues to steadily increase.

You need to be mobile to see how mobile traffic will impact your business.
5:59 am on Apr 16, 2015 (gmt 0)

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You need to be mobile to see how mobile traffic will impact your business.


Fair enough.

What is your mobile viewport?
8:48 am on Apr 16, 2015 (gmt 0)

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What is your mobile viewport?

That depends on the device. A script sniffs user's screensize & resolution, queries relevant content, sized by CSS, then serves it to the end user. The viewport tag is: <meta name="viewport" content="width=device-width, user-scalable=no"> But there is much more to it than that :)
1:13 pm on Apr 16, 2015 (gmt 0)

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FWIW, one website I work on has seen its mobile traffic nearly take over from desktop overall, and for users from organic, it's now the majority. The transition to mobile came before Google really started paying attention to it. That they are changing things on their end is simply their response to it, so trying to pretend it isn't happening doesn't really make sense (unless your stats really say it isn't happening). I don't really understand the attitude toward Google here, as for once this isn't a change they initiated.

Don't like RWD? Then look into a mobile site or dynamic serving. You have options to make a site mobile, though I think you can still have a great desktop site and transition to a functioning and good looking mobile site with RWD. Just takes a little planning.
2:53 pm on Apr 16, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Ok - so, sorry for sounding lame but is this going to affect desktop serps also?

Our niche is full of older websites that were never designed for mobile devices (although look rather ok). I'm just concerned that this is going to have an impact on our desktop serps.

I just checked the 10 blue links on page one and not one of them is optimsed for mobile according to the google mobile checker.

Thanks
5:15 pm on Apr 16, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Pudders, only mobile SERPs.
5:15 pm on Apr 16, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Google says it won't, but then, Google says things that don't quite turn out the way one expects. I don't think anyone will know for sure until after it's landed. It seems farfetched to me to believe there won't be some residual effect, but we'll just have to see.
6:10 pm on Apr 16, 2015 (gmt 0)

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It never is clean cut is it.. lol.. the fall out will be huge (probably) and we'll panda (pardon the pun) to Google's requirements once again!
6:14 pm on Apr 16, 2015 (gmt 0)

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It seems farfetched to me to believe there won't be some residual effect, but we'll just have to see.


The notion that desktop would be affected by "mobile-friendliness" seems more farfetched to me. I think the most likely scenario, over time, is that desktop/laptop/tablet search and mobile search will evolve into different entities, with somewhat different ranking criteria based on things like user behavior (not just whether a page will or won't fit into a 320-pixel viewport).
6:18 pm on Apr 16, 2015 (gmt 0)

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It will have an indirect effect though, because presumably the mobile ready sites will start getting more traffic... more backlinks... blah blah blah, which will help to push them up the desktop serps. over time you're going to start slipping down
7:12 pm on Apr 16, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Just a FYI - This is not new. On the sites I manage I've watched desktop traffic slowly decline over the last couple years due to:
1. social media
2. SEs serving content
3. mobile
7:47 pm on Apr 16, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Invested a good deal of time swapping out a nonresponsive HTML platform for a responsive HTML5 platform. Like most, I'm interesting in comparing the mobile traffic stats before and after the switch.

Good luck to all.
8:27 pm on Apr 16, 2015 (gmt 0)

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People keep talking about responsive design, but for some (many?) purposes, responsive is a workaround, not an ideal solution.

Just yesterday, I was editing mobile versions of two articles from our site (they're being served on separate mobile URLs. I tweaked both of them, removing several long quotations that work well on the desktop versions (where readers who don't want to read them easily skip over them or jump to the next subhead) but may serve as reading obstacles on smaller displays where they can easily take over most of the screen.

On another occasion, I created a mobile version of a custom Google map that worked fine on a large screen but wasn't nearly as useful when scaled down. Having separate desktop/laptop/tablet and mobile maps was a much better solution.

The "human-edited for different audiences" approach may not be practical for a million-page site or a site that churns out a bunch of new pages every day, but for a small to medium-size site that consists mostly of evergreen content, it's an approach worth considering.

Side note: The term "dumbing down" has been used (and also disparaged) in this thread. Sometimes the term is valid, and sometimes it isn't. I think dumbing down is more of a problem--and more obvious--when you adopt a "mobile first" mindset and port skimpy pages over to the large screen.
9:48 pm on Apr 16, 2015 (gmt 0)

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The 21st April change to mobile serps is just step 1 as far as G is concerned, later steps will be far more dramatic.

As far as i can see apps don't carry Adsense / Adwords ads on them. That's what this change is all about from the G petspective. If apps overtake web browser usage where does that leave G?

No serps where they can put their shopping ads all at the top, less chance to display Adsense.

Vibrant and other in-text advertisers were relegated to an irrelevancy a year or two ago, G is not going to let that happen to them ....?
12:42 am on Apr 17, 2015 (gmt 0)

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In preparation for the mobile algorithm, I was in search of a plugin for wordpress that I did not think existed. A plugin that allowed you to edit separate mobile and desktop versions of your posts, so you could optimize for each, instead of a compromise from a responsive theme. All without a separate mobile site.

Lo and behold, I found a plugin that does this called Mobile Smart Pro from code canyon. For those that are still looking for a solution, this one appears to be a great choice for those with challenging content that can't be used on a responsive theme. That is the problem I have, with a lot of tables, and other problem areas. Now I am able to edit mobile content separately (the mobile content is stored in a table in your wordpress database).

The thing that we will see is exactly how this algorithm will affect mobile Serps. Will you disappear, move down one ranking, move down five rankings? My guess is that it will be an adjustment, but not a wipeout, but who knows.....
1:15 am on Apr 17, 2015 (gmt 0)

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The thing that we will see is exactly how this algorithm will affect mobile Serps. Will you disappear, move down one ranking, move down five rankings?

The April 21 "mobile-friendly" rollout could be a great opportunity. If your pages are mobile-friendly, you could easily move up in the rankings, depending on how how many of your top competitors for a given query have (or don't have) mobile-friendly pages.

My guess is that it will be an adjustment, but not a wipeout, but who knows.....

I think the effect will vary enormously by query. For some queries, there will be plenty of worthy and mobile-friendly candidates for the top places in the SERPs; for others, there may be a dearth of mobile-friendly pages that score high for other ranking factors.
12:38 pm on Apr 17, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Will you disappear


Folks at G seem to be taking great pains to get the message out that you won't disappear. I don't know why this idea seems to have been lodged in so many heads. Oh, right, because so many recent big updates have done just that.
12:48 pm on Apr 17, 2015 (gmt 0)

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I agree with having a specific mobile theme for mobile users instead of a responsive design. I prefer to have control of the mobile theme and change it as I please. With a responsive design you're simply limited. We have both and have used a responsive design for some sites but we've done it as a patch for the 21st. Really the sites looks bad when browsed with a mobile and a responsive design.
8:31 pm on Apr 17, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Done well, a responsive design delivers a mobile theme without limitations. This is what both Google and Bing recommend.
10:25 am on Apr 18, 2015 (gmt 0)

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With a responsive design you're simply limited.


For my sites, not whatsoever, however I can see the possibility whereby some may struggle and thereby need to reconstruct completely, fortunately that's not my situation.
1:56 pm on Apr 18, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Done well, a responsive design delivers a mobile theme without limitations.


That's not quite accurate. A responsive design can optimize formatting for different devices, but it can't optimize content for different audiences.
4:40 pm on Apr 18, 2015 (gmt 0)

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but it can't optimize content for different audiences.


I've gone blond, could you explain that please?
6:30 pm on Apr 18, 2015 (gmt 0)

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I've gone blond, could you explain that please?


OK, let me offer a couple of examples--one real, the other made up by me just now:

1) A commerce site.

One of the Web's largest hotel booking sites uses different approaches for desktop/laptop/tablet users and smartphone users. Large-screen users are served complex pages, special pages for categories such as "romantic and honeymoon hotels" or "airport hotels," and so on.

Smartphone users get a simple hotel search box.

Why the difference? Screen size is one obvious reason, but perceived user behavior probably comes into play, too. (The hotel searcher who's searching at home may be making a leisurely search for a future trip, while the hotel searcher with a phone may have just arrived in Oslo, Odessa, or Omaha and wants to see what's available at what price right now.)

2) A zoo.

The Widgetberg Zoo's desktop/laptop/tablet site is designed to serve multiple functions, ranging from basic visitor information ("When is the zoo open? How do I get there? What's the admission fee?") to promotional materials about the zoo's animal care, conservation programs, educational services, volunteer opportunities, and current fundraising goals ("Help us raise $5 million for a new Mega Monkey House").

The smartphone version of the site is more streamlined and immediate in its focus, being geared to basic visitor information and promoting a free GPS-based app for patrons to help patrons find their way around the zoo and learn more about the animals they're seeing.
12:57 am on Apr 20, 2015 (gmt 0)

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I wish I could share the excitement and joy over this new influx of mobile, but my responsive site and forms are now experiencing at least a 50% increase in abandonment. Mobiles never begin signup and never buy. Tablets rarely begin signup and 50% of those bail. Desktop users that do begin the signup always buy. Today 50% bailed and all were tablets. Most just don't use their CC online. Desktop users are much more comfortable entering their card online. I'm sure I'm preaching to the choir.

Google started bombarding us with mobile on April 1st...and it's no surprise we are having the worst month in our history.
1:13 am on Apr 20, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Google started bombarding us with mobile on April 1st...and it's no surprise we are having the worst month in our history.

Just the opposite here. Mobile sales have been increasing day to day, almost equaling desktop and this current trend should continue where mobile sales will pass desktop in the near future.

What I did after mobile redesign was to go out and bring in mobile traffic specifically. Much of it can be found at social media. Also, make sure you aren't blocking popular apps from connecting to your pages. Create mobile attractive images for your pages and use the respective meta tags to ensure these are the files served when someone posts a social media link to your pages. This info can be found at the social media sites themselves.
10:02 am on Apr 20, 2015 (gmt 0)

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I'm sure I'm preaching to the choir.


Yep, I only buy from my desk/laptop never tablet or mobile but I do research on them especially at night on my tablet from where I send myself a message to my desktop!

The problem everyone has is that unless you have tablet/mobile only products I don't feel you will ever find out who is researching and then going to desk/laptop.

Or is there a way of finding out?
10:13 am on Apr 20, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Depends on who your audience is. If you have a product line that supports international interest, mobile is the platform you want to target. Indonesia, Asia, Pacific, Africa & South America are all mobile heavy users. The last I heard, China had 8k mobile users for every desktop.
1:08 pm on Apr 20, 2015 (gmt 0)

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My audience is not China or Indonesia, that's for sure. The only business I get from them is when they steal our images and slap them on an MFA site.
My product (PDF docs) has been used worldwide, but in English only. Don't plan to translate into Gan, Guan, Kejia, Min, Wu, Xiang, Yue, Etc. and metric units.
I like the way you think outside the box, but it's not always practical or feasible.

In the ecom biz, I refer to mobile to as Zombie traffic. They shop but for whatever reason very rarely pull the trigger and buy.

I think the only solution to reign in possible mobile sales would be to develop a mobile app with very few choices and a buy button to ship paper docs to their door....not sure they'd know what to do with paper tho. Otherwise you're messing with mobile OS issues, Adobe vs iBook PDF readers...I suppose, some adaptation is going to be necessary...but again, will they buy it after going through all the trouble? Hope I'm not getting too far off topic here.
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