Google’s Mobile Usability Update To Have Big Impact

At SMX Munich Zineb Ait Bahajji from the Webmaster Trends team was quoted saying that the mobile usability update that will launch on April 21st will have more of an impact on Google’s search results than the Panda and Penguin combined.  First, a little context for the impacts of Panda and Penguin…

Panda was an update focused on quality content and the update focused on getting rid of sites with thin and poorly written content.  Panda was a major update and affected 12% of the queries entered into Google.  Without some perspective it’s difficult to understand how impactful that was.  Google receives about 1.2 trillion queries per year or about 100 billion per month.  14% of 100 billion is 14 billion.  That’s right, Panda adjusts the results of about 14 billion queries per month to get rid of spam.

The Penguin update focused on penalizing sites that manually manipulated their link profile, ie., actively sought links for their websites, and often from poor sources. Penguin wiped out sites that had terrible link profiles and Google reports that Penguin impacts about 4% of queries.  Penguin adjusts the results of about four billion queries per month.

Panda and Penguin combined impact 18% of queries entered into Google, or about 18 billion per month.  That’s a pretty significant number, but the scuttlebutt is that the mobile usability update will impact about 40% of queries per month.  Forty percent.  That is forty billion queries per month.  As far as I know, this is the most impactful algo update Google’s done in a long time. (sure they had things like Florida etc., in the old days, but their usage was nowhere near the level it is today so those major old updates wouldn’t have affected as many queries when launched)  What’s that mean to you?  It means that anywhere from 3% – 42%+ of your traffic will probably disappear on April 21st.

If you haven’t already, check how mobile-friendly your site is using Google’s Page Speed Insights – it gives more information about how well your site performs on mobile than the “regular” tester.  If you get a response that says your site is not mobile friendly, you have two options; 1) fix your site, or 2) go to analytics, navigate to see how many mobile users you get from Google and wave bye-bye to that traffic.

Let us know if we can help you save your mobile traffic.