If there is one term or phrase that can strike fear into the heart of any online marketer, webmaster or business, it is “Google algorithm update”. The amount of sites that have been punished and penalised in the past, seemingly out of the blue has caused great consternation amongst many people and if the initial talk about the next Google algorithm comes to pass, it may be that there is a lot more pain in store for plenty of people and businesses.
Zineb Ait Bahajii from Google’s Webmaster Trends team was speaking at SMX Munich. He informed people that the new algorithm focusing on “mobile friendly rankings” would be launched on the 21st of April and that it was likely to have a bigger impact on the search results for Google than Panda or Penguin. Given the way that some sites were devastated after these updates, there is no doubt that plenty of people are starting to get concerned about what Google has in store next month.
It is not as though news about the forthcoming algorithm change is a surprise; it is something that Google has announced was coming. There was even an announcement from Google saying that there would be a “significant impact” on mobile search results after this change takes place. The fact that the change will only impact on mobile search results, and yet is still being tipped to have a bigger impact than Google Panda or Google Penguin, makes it quite the story in search engine news at the moment.
Google wants to provide a better service for website visitors
It is important to remember that the impact the changes could have could come in different ways and Zineb didn’t really dwell on anything specific. It is only natural that some people will assume the worst at the moment but until the actual changes take place, any panic is only brought about by trying to second guess what Google is looking to implement. It is a further reminder of the increasing importance of mobile devices though and it is believed that close to 50% of all Google searches are carried out on smartphones or tablets.
This means that without even worrying about the upcoming algorithm change, it would make sense to ensure that your site is mobile friendly and provides a better standard of service to mobile users. In many ways, this is what Google is aiming for with their algorithm changes. Too many users focus on the tweaks and changes that Google makes whereas if they focus on the ultimate service provided to the end user, it is likely that they will meet the criteria that Google is looking for sites to meet.
There is no doubt that the month will see a lot of people guessing and second guessing what the new algorithm will impact on, but there needs to be a sharper level of focus on creating mobile friendly sites for users. If the threat of being penalised or punished by Google causes a significant of webmasters or site owners to reconsider their current site and provide a better service to their users, Google will no doubt look back on the process as being a major success.