Google prepares to roll out biggest algorithm update in two years

Google's new algorithm update will favour mobile friendly sites, potentially affecting millions of businesses

Businesses beware; the world of search is going to be shaken up, as Google prepares to drop its mobile friendly algorithm update.

Touted as the largest update in two years, Google will begin rolling out the changes tomorrow, which take into consideration whether or not a website is ‘mobile friendly’. Dynamic sites that change depending on the device will be ranked more favourably than those with poor mobile experiences.

Google has not given figures on the number of sites likely to be affected by the changes, but it is widely expected that the impact will be greater than the two previous updates – Panda and Penguin, which affected 12% and 3% of sites respectively.

The Penguin update aimed to demote sites that violated Google’s guidelines by using artificial link building techniques to boost rankings; however a considerable number of legitimate businesses got caught in the crossfire and saw their sites tumble down the rankings.

Research suggests that the top organic search position in Google receives 53% of clicks from search users, followed by 15% for position 2 and 9% for position 3; so a high ranking site is the difference between success and failure for many organisations.

With the average user now spending more time browsing the web from a mobile device than they do from a desktop, Google hopes that the update will force webmasters to change their thinking.

Google has set up a Mobile-Friendly Test tool, for webmasters, developers and businesses to analyse their sites and warned that the impact will be felt across its search kingdom.

“This change will affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide and will have a significant impact in our search results,” the search God said in a statement. “Consequently, users will find it easier to get relevant, high quality search results that are optimised for their devices.”

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