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Google's penaltie$ for non-responsive sites - coming April 21st

#1
NOTE: If this isn't the right place for this information, please let me know where I should share this).

I felt this was a major news to share, as this new measure could severely prune the lot of styles, themes and templates for sale all over the internet, including Xenforo sites relying on monetization.


From Google's Webmaster Blog: http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.ca/2015/02/finding-more-mobile-friendly-search.html

"When it comes to search on mobile devices, users should get the most relevant and timely results, no matter if the information lives on mobile-friendly web pages or apps. As more people use mobile devices to access the internet, our algorithms have to adapt to these usage patterns. In the past, we’ve made updates to ensure a site isconfigured properly and viewable on modern devices. We’ve made it easier for users to find mobile-friendly web pages and we’ve introduced App Indexing to surface useful content from apps. Today, we’re announcing two important changes to help users discover more mobile-friendly content:

1. More mobile-friendly websites in search results
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. Consequently, users will find it easier to get relevant, high quality search results that are optimized for their devices.

2. More relevant app content in search results

Starting today, we will begin to use information from indexed apps as a factor in ranking for signed-in users who have the app installed. As a result, we may now surface content from indexed apps more prominently in search. To find out how to implement App Indexing, which allows us to surface this information in search results, have a look at our step-by-step guide on the developer site."

From Copy Blogger:

"We actually got an explicit warning that a change to the algorithm was coming.

This was posted on February 26, 2015:

'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.'

That date is important, but so is the word in bold.

My dictionary defines “significant” as “important; of consequence.” It’s the kind of thing you hear from a dead-serious parent.

In plain English: You better pay attention.

This update should surprise no one
The concern for mobile-friendliness is not a new direction for Google. As far back as 2011, they were declaring, based on the growing number mobile users, theZero Moment of Truth.

Since then, those mobile numbers have only increased, as I reported in an early 2015 article on adaptive content. And others are validating what we already know to be true.

According to Mitul Gandhi of seoClarity, 30 percent of total traffic comes from mobile, regardless of industry.

There is more on http://www.copyblogger.com/google-mobile-friendly/
 

Chris D

XenForo developer
Staff member
#2
As XenForo has a responsive design by default, there really shouldn't be any problem for any XenForo customer, regardless of what design they use as long as they are running XenForo 1.2 or above.

Certainly there's a chance that there could be third party styles which are not made well which aren't responsive, or there could even be sites who have explicitly turned responsive design off. But, these will certainly be in the minority and for the most part, easily fixed.
 
#4
Thanks Chris, good to know. As I was shopping for styles, I've indeed encountered a few that were really nice, but non-responsive (on their own demo sites). So I think it's good to give a heads-up. It would be great to see them bring updates to their work with this new incentive so they would continue offering them... :)

Regards,

Andre
 
#7
Hi Connor, it seems that the penalties are not "clear" but you can suspect there will be a lack of zeal on Google's part to treat those site well. They plan to add a label beside the Google search results that says "Mobile-friendly" so as to indicate/flag these sites for mobile users. This could discriminate against those who do not rank mobile-friendly enough, and affect their bottom-line.

There is more information here: http://www.copyblogger.com/google-mobile-friendly/

Conclusion: non-mobile-friendly sites are going to be shunned, which should cause an increase in mobile-friendly sites, hence possibly a much better crop of coding and a faster internet. I'm speculating, of course, but it's going to be a real outcome as well...

Hope this helps!
 
#10
Hi Connor, it seems that the penalties are not "clear" but you can suspect there will be a lack of zeal on Google's part to treat those site well. They plan to add a label beside the Google search results that says "Mobile-friendly" so as to indicate/flag these sites for mobile users. This could discriminate against those who do not rank mobile-friendly enough, and affect their bottom-line.

There is more information here: http://www.copyblogger.com/google-mobile-friendly/

Conclusion: non-mobile-friendly sites are going to be shunned, which should cause an increase in mobile-friendly sites, hence possibly a much better crop of coding and a faster internet. I'm speculating, of course, but it's going to be a real outcome as well...

Hope this helps!
I undestand now, thanks!
 

Anthony Parsons

Well-known member
#11
I don't really understand anyone NOT using responsive design, or a mobile specific framework, in this day and age. My users are slightly more mobile than desktop... which says it all. When you discard 50% or more of your users... you shouldn't be in search results, especially from mobiles.
 

RobinHood

Well-known member
#14
How about the vB dudes? o_O
I wonder if this will shift a few admins into gear who are stuck on VB3 and 4 and get them to make the switch to XF.

Could mean an increase in sales and demand for conversion jobs.

I have a couple of tiny wordpress sites that represent small local businesses, looking at the search results not much of the competition have made the switch to mobile. I'm hoping they might leapfrog some of the competition and jump up a few slots when this change kicks in.
 

Alfa1

Well-known member
#17
The mobile style is good enough to avoid any Google penalty. I am not exactly a vbulletin fanboy anymore either, but there is no problem with its mobile skin. I would be more worried if you are using tapatalk, because that does cause a lot of Google errors.