A week before the rollout of the April 21st update, Google’s Zineb Ait Bahajji from the Webmaster Trends team was saw quoting, “the impact of the update would be more than all pandas and penguins taken together”.
More than a month passed since the 21st April update. It’s the time for reality check: the impact of the update and how it’s affecting websites in terms of search result.
Initial reports from our clients and aides in various business sectors are suggesting that the update is nowhere near either Panda or Penguin.
I still remember the time when the first version of Google Panda was rolled out in the wild. It was catastrophic.
Many sites that were on the top of search results for quite a time, converting hundreds of leads daily, were nowhere to be seen after the rollout. Such was the impact of those updates: Panda and Penguin.
With so much of speculations and Google’s persistent insistence towards the update, marketers were actually scared about the impact, if only “Mobile Friendly Update” is the next Panda or Penguin. So much that many of them worked night and day to go responsive before 21st April.
“While the mobile-friendly change is important, we still use a variety of signals to rank search results. The intent of the search query is still a very strong signal — so even if a page with high quality content is not mobile-friendly, it could still rank high if it has great content for the query.”
Why Google made such a hype of the update?
Google knew people won’t take its guidelines seriously unless there is a return benefit. Ask any SEO if there is anything makes them happier then a boost in the search rankings. Google, smartly, provided the perfect bait.
Concisely, they deliberately exaggerated the magnitude of the update although for a good cause—to make the internet as mobile-friendly as possible.
However, the endeavour, regardless of the motto–to incentivise websites into migrating to mobile-friendly platforms–didn’t went very well.
Google had to clarify its stand later:
“The lack of impact may have also been due to a significant number of websites migrating to mobile-friendly websites following their announcement of the mobile update”, a Googler, who has also worked on the update, clarified.