Mobilegeddon: The Unknown Future of Mobile SERPs
As I write this, it’s been exactly 9 days, 14 hours, and 47 minutes since the ominous Google Mobilegeddon rolled out. But, unlike the upheaval and musical SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages) brought about by previous algorithm updates, unless you’ve been paying very close attention, not much has changed.
So What’s the Deal?
Although there haven’t been reports of any big losers or winners with this update (yet), there have been some subtle changes in how Google is presenting mobile results.
What’s different so far...
- Destination URLs have been removed from mobile SERPs and replaced with a more user-friendly breadcrumb display. Moz’s recent run down on Mobilegeddon gave an example of the updated look:
- Custom mobile displays are starting to pop up more frequently. A search for food will return a “snack pack” display on mobile to show a quick and easy rundown of what’s nearby. This feature also gets rolled out for apps and provides results specific to a mobile device’s OS.
- Rank changes are still coming. Google has said this will be a slow roll out, and in true Google style there is no firm timeline of how it’s going to play out. But, over the next few weeks or even months, we’ll slowly start to see some shifts in the mobile SERPs space that will reflect the true impact of Mobilegeddon.
Do You Still Need Your Mobile-Friendly Bug Out Bag?
Google has stated this update will be more significant than both the Panda and Penguin updates, so if you still haven’t gone responsive don’t assume you’re off the hook.
More than 11% of the SERPs will change with the mobile friendly update, whether you embrace mobile or not. The good news is that once your mobile-friendly site is live, they are processed quickly and you won’t have to wait long to see how you’re matching up against your SERP competition.
Don’t Lose Sight Of The End Game
The weight of this update has reaffirmed that Google’s biggest interest is and always will be the user. As an SEO, or anyone with a stake in which way the internet blows, it can be easy to get trapped in a bit of your own online narcissism: “I want Google to work for ME/MY company/MY blog/MY new Shark Tank venture.”
And although saying the user is Google’s most important audience can turn even the best SEO into an angsty teenager (complete with eye roll and sarcastic “DUH!”), it’s good to have an occasional check in with a version of the internet that does not entirely revolve around your own motives.
Get Onboard the Mobile Train
This update and the impact it’s going to have speaks to a much larger shift that has already been in the works for some time. The divide between the search space on desktop and mobile is becoming wider and has no signs of stopping.
Mobile is growing into its own and carving a path in the “internet of things.” It’s a divergence that is just now starting to be more prominent and the separation is going to be felt in more than just SERPs and ranking.
For SEO’s, it’s time to start thinking about a new approach to mobile. Metrics and analytical data need to be more clearly separated by device and measured against device specific KPI’s. Larger SEO strategy should cater to both the desktop and mobile worlds to avoid isolating yourself from either audience. Mobile specific tools are already out there, and companies like Moz are rolling out mobile-only analytical tools like the Mozcast Mobile.
While it’s true that we are all merely chess pieces in Google’s game, we can at least stay on the board with a willingness to adapt. Embracing the mobile mindset now will give you a leg up and keep you nimble for whatever comes next. And I don’t know about you, but I want to stick around to see how this one plays out.