Content Quality Beats Mobilegeddon

Posted On : April 27th, 2015   By : Diptimayee Mohanty   To : Google Update, Mobilegeddon

After Effects of Mobilegeddon

After much speculations & hypes , Google mobile-friendly update a.k.a Mobilegeddon is live now. As per Google engineers, the roll out will take few weeks to complete. Just like many internet marketers, we were excited about the after effects of Mobilegeddon as it was expected that its impact would be more than that of Panda & Penguin update and hence had a plan to track results on mobile search for a lot of search queries.

All were expected that the pages which do not pass on Google’s mobile friendly test would get a penalty & would have a significant drop in ranking in mobile devices. But it’s completely wrong; still many pages are getting top rankings that failed in Google mobile friendly test. For example, you can find in the below image that a non-mobile friendly page is getting #2 ranking for the query “casinos near”.

Mobile SERP

But yes, Google has clarified regarding it on its latest blog post. So even if a page with high quality content is not mobile-friendly, it could still rank high if it has great content for the query.

Google Message

That means when it comes to content quality or user intent v/s mobile-friendly design, Google is still giving more importance to content quality.

Now if you closely observe these statements, you may get a headache. I think the secret lies in one of the previous statements by Google that a site is either mobile-friendly or not; there is no in between. If you remember Google has purposed different criteria under mobile usability issues. In my view, if a site failed in mobile-friendly test still sticks to its top position, then it may be due to the fact that it is satisfying some of the criteria under mobile usability issues plus its content quality.

We can take page speed for example. If a site is not mobile-friendly but has good quality content and high page speed, then Google may consider it to be user-friendly and will place it in top position in mobile SERP.

Content is Still King

Most Google algorithm tracking tools have not shown major mobile SERP fluxes since this update. That’s really strange. But if you remember, from Panda update, Google has consistently been declaring that quality is the top most factor in ranking. So, before this update the sites in top are already there due to their top quality content and hence even after this mobile-friendly update, the top results are hardly getting affected due to this. We can take some examples of top authority sites which are not mobile-friendly but still are not affected in the mobilegeddon due to content quality.

Top 20 ranking pages still rule the mobile SERP without mobile-friendly design

Advanced Web Ranking SERP tracking Tool for Mobile showing that the updates were started from 16th April, lots of fluctuations are there from this day & till date it’s continuing. And the most important is the fluctuations is not big for top 10 or top 20 search results but the fluctuations are very high for top 50 search results, that means more & more numbers of webpages ranking in top 21 to 50 are getting more affected due to mobilegeddon.

AWR Top10      AWR Top 20

AWR Top 50

The biggest Takeaway: The content quality signal in mobile SERP carries more importance than mobile-friendly design signal.

Diptimayee Mohanty
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