Mobile: A New Element For The Periodic Table Of SEO Success Factors

mobileWhen we updated our Periodic Table Of SEO Success Factors last month, we came very close to adding a mobile element to it. Now we’ve actually done so, in the wake of Google giving explicit advice that sites with issues for mobile devices might not rank as well, in the future.

We were close, so close, to adding a mobile element when our updated table was posted on June 10. As we explained then:

Finally, the survey asked respondents if, among other new suggestions, a new element relating to mobile optimization should be added. The results were that one should, weighted at +2. Then the editors had a long debate about whether this should be included.

Ultimately, as the differences between the mobile world and the desktop world blend, the editors didn’t feel it made sense to add. Instead, we felt that publishers should indeed strongly consider the experience mobile visitors have when coming to their sites but that the SEO aspects of this are already covered in other elements such as Ce, Engagement.

Then on June 11, the day after the survey appeared, Google announced that mobile site optimization would be a factor in rankings. It was the first time Google had been this explicit on the topic. It was also the tipping point we needed to add the element to the chart, which we’ve done now.

As for Google’s advice, it was specifically about search results on smartphones. Google warned that sites that have issues for people using smartphones can expect they won’t rank as highly for results shown to smartphone users.

That makes sense. Why would any search engine want to show smartphone users a URL that’s not going to work correctly? It also means that if you’re not worried about mobile visitors, you can ignore the advice. But you shouldn’t. With an increasing number of visitors using smartphones, not considering them means losing a potential audience.

If you want to get started with better understanding what Google wants in terms of mobile optimization, the company has an entire help area on the topic, which:

  • Recommends responsive design, one site that can serve all types of devices
  • Suggests as an alternative, sites that do dynamic targeting of HTML based on device type or operating separate mobile & desktop sites

So, think mobile. The new mobile element comes on to the Periodic Table Of SEO Success Factors chart with a weighting of +1, which represents that it’s new, that there are other factors that, relatively speaking, may be more important. But in general, any factor being added to the chart means it’s very important indeed.

Related Resources

Related Topics: Channel: Mobile | Google: Mobile | Google: SEO | Top News


About The Author: is a Founding Editor of Search Engine Land. He’s a widely cited authority on search engines and search marketing issues who has covered the space since 1996. Danny also serves as Chief Content Officer for Third Door Media, which publishes Search Engine Land and produces the SMX: Search Marketing Expo conference series. He has a personal blog called Daggle (and keeps his disclosures page there). He can be found on Facebook, Google + and microblogs on Twitter as @dannysullivan.

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  • Nick Stamoulis

    Even if you aren’t too concerned about mobile searchers, having a mobile friendly website in one way or another is still a good idea in my book. Mobile technology is rapidly advancing so even though it might be a small percentage of your traffic today in a year it could be a noticeable chunk. Better to hammer out all the kinks now when it doesn’t really matter than be scrambling to pull it together when it does.

  • Jenny Halasz

    I am thrilled to see this added to the Periodic Table. Way to go SEL, for being quick to respond to this important industry insight/happening.

  • Kyle Eggleston

    Has anyone seen any dips in traffic or rank as a result of this update/announcement? I’m wondering how much weight Google is putting on this mobile factor.

  • Eceltic

    From last one year I am trying for mobile optimization. Mobile version designed done, but not yet got any clear clarification about optimization method.

  • Kayla F

    Great post! Very important for the future. I’ve seen mobile traffic of an old client of mine jump 60 percent in twelve months. Search Engine Land also needs a mobile optimised Site! :-)

  • Janice S. Roberts

    like Michelle implied I am amazed that a stay at home mom can get paid $7685 in one month on the computer. did you see this site w­w­w.K­E­P­2.c­o­m

  • Nikita Saxena

    Adding this new element in the table is a very great idea. Mobile can now be considered as the latest trend in developing good SEO qualities. There is no doubt that most of the users are spending more time surfing on mobile instead of
    using the desktops. Hence, mobile optimization is must.

  • Nikita Saxena

    Adding this new element in the table is a very great idea. Mobile can now be considered as the latest trend in developing good SEO qualities. There is no doubt that most of the users are spending more time surfing on mobile instead of using the desktops. Hence, mobile optimization is must.

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