Yesterday at the SMX search marketing conference in Munich, a Google representative said that the search engine's upcoming "mobile-friendliness" algorithm will have a bigger impact on search results than last year's Panda or Penguin updates.
Zineb Ait Bahajji, a webmaster trends analyst at Google, made the claim. She meant mobile search results specifically, as opposed to all search results.
Google has said that the new algorithm will become effective on April 21st, and that its impact will be worldwide.
About the new mobile-friendliness algorithm
For several months now, Google has urged webmasters to make their sites friendlier for users on mobiles and tablet devices. In November it said that it would start to clearly label mobile-friendly sites in mobile search results, for the benefit of users.
It is now clear that Google wants to go several steps further and start to omit non-mobile-friendly sites from mobile search results altogether.
Towards the end of February, Google revealed that mobile-friendliness will become a massive ranking factor where mobile search results are concerned.
On the Webmaster Central blog, Google said: "Starting April 21, we will be expanding our use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal. This change will affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide and will have a significant impact in our search results."
About the mobile search market
According to StatCounter, the number of searches conducted on mobile devices – which includes smartphones, tablets and games consoles – has been on the rise since April 2014.
Its figures state that last month, mobile devices accounted for 37.46 per cent of all searches worldwide.
Our Design & Development team builds websites which are attractive and navigable on all browsers and devices. Get in touch to find out more.