Will Google penalize non-mobile-friendly sites?

by mott
22 replies
Hi

I heard something from someone today that Google will eventually start penalizing sites that are non mobile-friendly. Like if they are ranked on page 1, they will drop to page 50 or something if they are not mobile friendly.

I want to know if that is true, and if so, does anyone know of any link to a Google page or video where this can be confirmed? Some official statement by Google, does that exist on the web anywhere?

Thanks!
#google #nonmobilefriendly #penalize #sites
  • Profile picture of the author WillR
    I do not think it will be this cut and dry. They won't start penalizing normal websites but they will probably start giving favor to mobile optimized websites but ONLY if the user searching is on a mobile device.

    Obviously a mobile site is not ideal for a PC user so it is definitely going to depend on the type of device the person is using as to what type of search results they see.
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  • Profile picture of the author bulldogzg
    Nah, I'm pretty sure it's not gonna "penalize" them as set up an automatic or manual penalty, more like add one more filter to the algo. Like bounce rate or site loading time etc. But they are getting more focused on on-site lately, that's for sure
    + if you have a WP site you can turn it into a mobile site with just one plugin.
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    • Profile picture of the author WillR
      Originally Posted by bulldogzg View Post

      Nah, I'm pretty sure it's not gonna "penalize" them as set up an automatic or manual penalty, more like add one more filter to the algo. Like bounce rate or site loading time etc. But they are getting more focused on on-site lately, that's for sure
      + if you have a WP site you can turn it into a mobile site with just one plugin.
      Just be careful when using Wordpress plugins for mobile websites as they are usually going to be much slower than a clean HTML mobile website. The recent tool Google developed that allows people to test how their site looks on mobile phone has a speed tester built in as well. This tells me that speed is going to be a BIG factor when Google are determining whether or not a site is mobile friendly. This is definitely one reason to be very careful in using any Wordpress solutions for mobile websites.
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    • Profile picture of the author freeburd
      Originally Posted by bulldogzg View Post

      Nah, I'm pretty sure it's not gonna "penalize" them as set up an automatic or manual penalty, more like add one more filter to the algo. Like bounce rate or site loading time etc. But they are getting more focused on on-site lately, that's for sure
      + if you have a WP site you can turn it into a mobile site with just one plugin.
      Theoretically - yes. It looks horrible (to me). When I turned one of my websites to mobile using a plugin, I understood that that was not the way to go. That's when I bought Will's templates. I am very happy when I see how my mobile websites look and how easy it is for me to do maintenance. I am a big fan of WordPress, but not for mobile websites.
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      • Profile picture of the author Kevin Z
        Originally Posted by freeburd View Post

        Theoretically - yes. It looks horrible (to me). When I turned one of my websites to mobile using a plugin, I understood that that was not the way to go. That's when I bought Will's templates. I am very happy when I see how my mobile websites look and how easy it is for me to do maintenance. I am a big fan of WordPress, but not for mobile websites.

        You want to make sure your Mobile site is SEO optimized but also that it complies with the latest W3C mobile standards.

        IMO Wordpress is great for desktop sites but the mobile side is still lagging in some themes out there and will actually bring your ranking and W3C compliance down.

        However some WP theme developers are doing some great things with mobile so its important that you do your research.

        The answer to your question is that yes Google will "favour" mobile friendly sites over a non mobile site in their search. And this will only become more prevalent as Google continues to refine their mobile search algorithm in the future.
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  • Profile picture of the author Top10SEO
    I think WillR hit the nail on the head. Normal web sites won't be penalized, but mobile web sites will receive preferential treatment if the search is coming from a mobile device. It seems to be true there are 'Mobile-specific' bots out there crawling the web for mobile-enabled web sites.
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  • Profile picture of the author BarbaraP
    WillR is right and thanks for the link. I've seen Google results already showing a green mobile phone for Google Places listings with mobile friendly websites. The search engines will start "favoring" mobile friendly business listings (w/mobile site links) for organic and Google Places. It just makes sense and Google has said it's moving in that direction.
    Anyone in marketing who's not guiding prospects and clients to use mobile-responsive sites, SMS, QR Codes, and other mobile-friendly tactics is missing revenue for themselves and for their clients.
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    • Profile picture of the author Jay Moreno
      Originally Posted by BarbaraP View Post

      WillR is right and thanks for the link. I've seen Google results already showing a green mobile phone for Google Places listings with mobile friendly websites. The search engines will start "favoring" mobile friendly business listings (w/mobile site links) for organic and Google Places. It just makes sense and Google has said it's moving in that direction.
      Anyone in marketing who's not guiding prospects and clients to use mobile-responsive sites, SMS, QR Codes, and other mobile-friendly tactics is missing revenue for themselves and for their clients.
      @BarbaraP what search criteria are you using and device are you using to see the green handsets on the google place listings? Wondering if its a regional thing as we are not seeing that?

      The green mobile listings that i have seen have been around for a few years now and are part of the regular organic listings - these related to valid mobile sites, that have been crawled by the older non smartphone google mobilebots and are only visible in the the non smartphone search portal for google... most smartphones do not use this search portal so do not see those green mobile handset identifies.

      Additionally there seems to be zero relevance on sites with those green icons been ranked any higher than those without...

      With the new smartphone google mobile bot i would hope that google goes someone to identify to the end user that a site does have a mobile equivalent in the same way it does on google search for non smartphones - i.e. www.google.com/m

      Hope that helps,

      Cheers,

      Jay
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  • Profile picture of the author jennie smith
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    • Profile picture of the author Favion
      I think google will not penalize non-mobile-friendly sites. The website will lower the revenue and exposure themselves by losing potential mobile visitors. As of now mobile users are more in number than pc users.
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      • Profile picture of the author Madam X
        Originally Posted by Favion View Post

        I think google will not penalize non-mobile-friendly sites. The website will lower the revenue and exposure themselves by losing potential mobile visitors. As of now mobile users are more in number than pc users.
        Google won't blatantly penalize non-mobile friendly websites. As more and more customers review websites from their phones - more than their computers, the website itself will lose visitors and thus lose their Google rankings. It's a slow but certain death.

        Also, those WP mobile plug-ins DO slow the site down. Customers won't put up with that & they'll quickly click on a site that's faster.
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        • Profile picture of the author Jay Moreno
          Originally Posted by Madam X View Post

          Also, those WP mobile plug-ins DO slow the site down. Customers won't put up with that & they'll quickly click on a site that's faster.
          That's not strictly true - we are developing our own custom WP mobile plugins and they in no way slow down access to the mobile site, in fact we have designed our framework to specifically increase rendering speed and also validate accordingly - recent test scores have provided 99/100 on the Google Mobile Speed Test, a regular HTML mobile site will never get this close as it doesn't have the caching capability of PHP.

          Hope that clarifies the myth of WordPress mobile sites being slow... we maybe the exception in this case compared to other mobile plugins, themes and frameworks but bottom line is they are not all developed the same way and are not all slow!

          Cheers,

          Jay
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          • Profile picture of the author lindgren
            This thread is very interesting to follow and I learned qute a lot - thanks to you all for your input :-)
            Cheers!
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  • Profile picture of the author regenesis
    Google may reduced the ranking of such websites as nowadays Google is interested more on the user experience.
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  • Profile picture of the author KevinFL
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    • Profile picture of the author Jashandeepmax
      I don't think so. That sites are not accessible on mobiles that's it.
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  • Profile picture of the author calmaight
    It makes sense that since Google wants to return the most relevant results, of a searcher is using a mobile device, and ur site isn't mobile, then they're not going to highlight ur site, just to have a user bounce to another page. It comes down to relevance
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  • Profile picture of the author tamnl
    Of course no, Google won't do that. Not all of websites even high quality websites are friendly with mobile now. It need times to optimize website for mobile so I think it can't be happened now.
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  • Profile picture of the author Traffic Master
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    Thats like the Mobile Revolution. They won't flag you, or unless 99.99% of your sites traffic is coming from Mobiles .
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  • Profile picture of the author Jhon Alex
    In my opinion
    Google will favor mobile sites only if the user searching is on a mobile device.
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  • Profile picture of the author Quentin
    Well one popular script got 85% with the new Google speed test and my bigger Wordpress got 80% so I personally don't think using wordpress is as bad as people make out.

    Quentin
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  • Profile picture of the author KingMedia
    Google has not shown any favoritism yet... Just search for stuff on your mobile phone and you will see.

    Will they, won't they? What does G consider "mobile"?

    After dealing with Google in SEO for years, I have come to the conclusion that whatever they say ....do the opposite!
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  • Profile picture of the author Jay Moreno
    the only identification we have verified about mobile sites in Google is the placement of Green Mobile Handset Icons next to mobile sites that do actually validate to XHTML MP - the only advantage that we are able to see is that it helps identify the site as being mobile in the SERPS. However one point to note is that these icons are NOT shown on Google Mobile Search for Smartphones but ONLY in Google Mobile Search for Non Smartphones ie Google there are many sites that have the icon but are not necessarily ranked higher in the SERPS. If that where the case all the top 10 listing in the mobile search would have icons but they don't.

    I do hope that Google does implement a similar feature with ranking placement for Google search for smartphones in the not too distant future. With them introducing the new Google Mobile Search Bot, specific Google Mobile Sitemaps and the release of the Speed Test for Mobile and GoMo it would certainly have you think they are gearing up and focusing on mobile in a big way!
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