Google Search Changes

Last Update: June 10, 2021

As I'm sure most of you are aware, Google is continuing it's "mobile search first" project they started a couple of years ago. For those of you who don't know, Google will be searching mobile devices first, before indexing pages meant for the desktop. The reason for this is because way more searches are being done on mobile devices as opposed to desktops. The next phase of this is in the middle of June, just a few days away.

Now would be a good time to test your mobile device for user friendliness and speed. Google's website has a whole battery of tests you can run. The "mobile friendliness" is perhaps the most important. It will tell you how easy (or not so easy) it is to view your site on a mobile device.

The generatepress theme seems to do a pretty good job of converting your site to work on a mobile device.

If you use Google search console, all the tests you need are all in one convenient place.

If you don't have search console, you can run a search for "mobile site friendliness". In my case, a test appeared right at the top of my search results. My site passed with flying colors. I really don't know what would happen with different themes, though. You'll just have to check them and see what happens.

There are many sites that offer mobile speed ratings as well.

The other change on the horizon is what I think they call "one click search". The problem is that if the visitor lands on a preferred snippet, he or she may find the answer to whatever question they had and have no need to click on the page again. This causes tracking problems for Google. They won't be able to determine how much time the user spent on the page, nor if the answer they found was relevant.

The same problem occurs with the question and answer section that appears on some pages. Google has apparently hired a statistician to help solve this problem.

Both of these issues are going to affect ranking a bit. I am planning to do some additional research on these issues to see if anything needs to be done to my website. If I find anything, I'll let everybody know.


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Jimmyk16 Premium
I am an old school guy and like to sit in front of my computer with a big screen, plus I have a speedy internet connection. The people who can work from their phones on the net I give them kudos.
Even though you optimize your website for mobile devices not everyone with a mobile will benefit.

You won't benefit if the screen on your phone is too small and also if the phone is not powerful enough to process the data.

I had an old Motorola phone that was exactly as I described, screen too small and whenever I tried to even access my email was too slow. In the end I used the phone for texting and as a phone.

So if you have a newer phone with a big screen you should be OK.

Thanks for the information, Terry.

Newme202 Premium
This is really good information Terry. Does this have to do with their recent algorithm for user experiene?

If it is, then it totally make perfect sense that how our mobile sites are is of paramount importance.

Thank you for sharing this reminder Terry. We do appreciate it
tdbabineaux Premium
No, the new google UX ranking is a different animal. It was supposed to launch in May, but I haven't been able to find out when or if it has launched yet.

Basically, they will be assigning values to certain UX components of your page, then using the sum of those values as a ranking factor. Google, of course, won't say what these values will be. They'll be looking at things like speed, presence of malware, pop-ups, whether items on your page jump around when the page loads and a few other things I don't remember at the moment. The main focus of all this will be mobile devices. You can find about a zillion and a half web pages on this if you search for something like "new Google UX" (sorry, but I am wary of putting URLs into anything I post at WA. Just about everything contains ads these days. WA might look at URLs that I post and consider them as promotional and boot me out).

I should ask Kyle about this.

Some of these pages you might find are very technical. They hurt my head. But you can avoid these pages easily enough.

The Google test for friendly web pages on mobile devices is the top recommended tool for checking your site. When I ran the test on my site, I got a result of 96 out of 100, which is pretty good. There are tests that will tell you specifically what's wrong if you get a bad result. But you need search console to do this.

I tried to get tech support to install search console for me, but all they did was send me some links on installing it. It requires a password to get into the server settings. I REALLY don't want to do this. I suspect support doesn't want me to do this either.

I guess I'll have to try tech support one more time with a super friendly request. I'm certain they won't want to give me a server password.

So I'm dead in the water at the moment. This UX thing definitely will affect ranking. But if you've followed best page design practices, you should be OK. Your ranking may even go up.

I have all my content (for now) in place and displaying quite nicely on my phone. I just need to make my site prettier. Some of the paragraphs in my content are quite long and need to be broken into smaller chunks and headers. My site is live in the meantime.

I am kind of itching to get my site onto social media and hopefully get some traffic that way.

Newme202 Premium
Terry, are you saying that you don't have Google search console on your website?
tdbabineaux Premium
Newme202 Premium
Can you try this training and let me know
tdbabineaux Premium
Thanks. I'll take a look at it later this afternoon.

The scary thing about the new Google UX ranking is that they may eventually be able to downrate your site if they think it's ugly or doesn't meet some new criteria. This is apparently their first shot at trying to come up with metrics for user experience.

With all the nutty politics going on here in the US, who knows...

I was watching the news. The latest conspiracy theory is that the Italians used satellites to change the results of the last election.

A LOT of people here believe this nonsense. And of those people, some are congressmen or others in positions of power who should know better.

Some are trying to use anti trust laws to break Google and Facebook into smaller companies.

Sorry to drop this in here, but it's all very frustrating.
Newme202 Premium
You don't have to apologise Terry
I do understand
tdbabineaux Premium
It gets even better. A republican senator recently asked the BLM (bureau of land management) if they could change the orbit of the moon to help stave off climate change.

Half the world must be laughing themselves senseless at us over this one.

You can't make this stuff up!

Newme202 Premium
jdf290170 Premium
Thanks for the tip Terry. I use GeneratePress as well. Just checked my site and it also comes up well so this theme is clearly mobile friendly.

Thanks - Jason.
CherryRed20 Premium
Great post, Terry.

Sounds like a good way to test the speed on your mobile phone.