How Big Will Google’s Mobile-Friendly Update Be? Bigger Than Panda Or Penguin

Google’s Zineb Ait Bahajji from the Webmaster Trends team was quoted as saying at SMX Munich this morning that the upcoming mobile-friendly ranking algorithm that will launch on April 21st will have more of an impact on Google’s search results than the Google Panda update and the Google Penguin update did.

Google did say when they announced the mobile-friendly ranking algorithm that this would have a “significant impact” on the mobile search results. This is key, it is only impacting the mobile results and even so, it will have more of an impact than Panda or Penguin.

The question is, what did Zineb mean by that? Is she saying that let’s say this is impacting 40% of mobile search queries, whereas Panda impacted about 12% of all English queries and Penguin was closer to 4% of global queries across both desktop and mobile. Or is she saying that across mobile and desktop, the impact will be larger than Panda or Penguin? We know the mobile-friendly algorithm only impacts mobile search results, so I’d assume she is talking about the mobile impact only.

Zineb from Google did not specifically release a percentage of queries impacted. It is also believes that about 50% of all searches done on Google are on mobile devices.

The big takeaway from this is that if your site is not mobile-friendly, get to work now on it. If 50% of your traffic from Google comes from mobile devices, it sounds like if you are not mobile-friendly that virtually all of that traffic from mobile is at huge risk.


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Barry Schwartz
Barry Schwartz is Search Engine Land's News Editor and owns RustyBrick, a NY based web consulting firm. He also runs Search Engine Roundtable, a popular search blog on very advanced SEM topics. Barry can be followed on social media at @rustybrick, +BarrySchwartz and Facebook. For more background information on Barry, see his full bio and disclosures, click over here.