What Will and Will Not Be Affected By Google’s Mobile Friendly Algorithm

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What Will and Will Not Be Affected By Google’s Mobile Friendly Algorithm

With just one week to go until Google’s mobile algorithm is unleashed on the world on April 21st, we’re learning more about what will and will not be affected.

Not every aspect of mobile search results will be affected by Google’s mobile algorithm — in fact, its focus is relatively narrow compared to other Google algorithms.

Only Google’s organic mobile search listings, aka the “10 blue links”, will be affected. Google’s Gary Illyes recently confirmed this on Twitter in an effort to clarify some statements he made at a conference.

The SEM Post reports that Illyes stated websites ranking in Google’s local pack will not be impacted by the mobile friendly algorithm, even if they do not have mobile friendly websites.

Illyes responded says that’s true, and that only the 10 blue links will be affected:

This news no doubt comes as a relief to local business owners whose sites are not yet prepared for mobilegeddon. This is almost like a stay of execution, so to speak, as non-mobile friendly sites can still rank in mobile search via the local pack.

In addition, it was revealed in a Google+ Hangout last month that Google News would not be affected by the mobile-friendly algorithm update

If only the 10 blue links are affected, it may be safe to assume that image and video search rankings will not be impacted either, but that has yet to be confirmed.

Soon enough we’ll all know exactly what is and is not impacted by Google’s mobile friendly algorithm when it drops one week from now.

Matt Southern
Matt Southern has been the lead news writer at Search Engine Journal since 2013. His passion for helping people in all aspects of online marketing... Read Full Bio
Matt Southern
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  • Aviv

    I’m very concerned about this algorithm update. I have quite a few phrases ranked on page 1 in Google search results and my website is not optimized for mobile.

    • Kundan

      Aviv if your website is not mobile friendly. Than there will be drop in your mobile results. But as you make yur mobile website and update it. You will be back in google mobile search in same position. Its already discus in below Video

      Q&A session for mobile-friendly ranking change

    • Vicky

      Aviv, depending on your website, it doesn’t need to be expensive to convert your site to become mobile responsive. It’s definitely something that’s worth looking into, and not just because of the potential drop in Google rankings, but from a user perspective, it’s now critical that your site displays properly on mobile devices. If you look at the stats about mobile usage, you’ll see that ignoring this market is just not an option.

    • Craig

      You really should get this sorted out ASAP. Be it due to algorithm updates or not, you should be giving your users a pleasant experience and something to remember you by!

  • Norm

    Something which is not being discussed but was confirmed to me by our adwords rep, is that Adwords Quality Score will be affected, or at least a factor.

    If your site is not mobile friendly you may get a lower quality score, and that will effect your desktop searches.

    If your site is not mobile friendly and you are running adwords, you may potentially pay more per click or have lower position for your ads.

  • Kieran Barlow


    I wondered whether you guys would know if the desktop results would be affected by this update also? or is it purely mobile search which would make sense.

  • Maikel Michiels

    So basically the only thing affected is the main search results on mobile devices, right? From what I understand there won’t be a penalty for mobile unfriendly sites in the regular (Pc) search results, is that correct?

  • Jack Carpenter

    We’re obviously past the update date and I’m finding some very odd results in my listings. It seems to be very up and own still and I’m hoping that everything levels out in the next few weeks. I have to say that I did make some major amends to the code to make it as mobile friendly as possible and this seems to have worked…so far…

  • Ade Tunde

    This is no doubt a welcome development given the number of mobile gadget users on the internet. I recently put up a blog, and i think getting a responsive template might just be what i need in order to make it mobile friendly.