Lawyers, How Will Google’s Latest Mobile Ranking Signal Affect Your Rankings?

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Yesterday, Google announced two upcoming changes to mobile search results that can affect your rankings. The first change will be removing the mobile label and the second will be adding a signal that looks for intrusive pop-ups. As you know Google’s job is to deliver and present content with the best possible user experience.

If you recall last year, Google sent us all into a frenzy to make sure our websites were mobile friendly, remember? And two years ago they added a mobile-friendly label that would show in the search results like this one:

google mobile label

Photo Credit: Google

 

Well, we’ve seen major changes since then, and a lot of webmasters made a pretty penny making the change for you. In this new update, Google is removing the mobile-friendly label from results but will keep the mobile friendly testing tool and, more importantly, it will remain a ranking signal.

The second change has Google looking for mobile results where the content is not hidden by intrusive chats or pop-ups. I can understand why – it’s annoying when I click on a mobile search result and I’m presented an ad or chat when all I want is the content I searched for. Do you feel me?

This new ranking signal is about helping users find the content they are looking for. The new signal change will take effect after January 10, 2017.

Therefore, hiding your awesome content behind pop-ups or annoying chats could soon affect your rankings.

To improve the mobile search experience, after January 10, 2017, pages where content is not easily accessible to a user on the transition from the mobile search results may not rank as highly.” – Doantam Phan, Google Product Manager

Here are samples from Google of intrusive pop-ups that make it difficult for the reader to reach the content:

Mobile signals: Intrusive examples

Photo Credit: Google

  • Presenting a pop-up that covers the main content.
  • Displaying a standalone pop-up that the user has to click or remove before accessing the content.
  • Using a layout where the above-the-fold portion of the page looks like a standalone pop-up, but the original content has been coded underneath the fold.

Google isn’t saying that this one signal could send your website into ranking purgatory, but it’s important to note that this signal is one of the hundreds of signals used to determine ranking.

As always, thank you for reading, and if you need help with your mobile-friendly website, content, or SEO, don’t be shy – just contact us.

Courtesy of Google: Read the blog here.