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  1. Hardware
April 20, 2015

Google search update could hit mobile rankings

Company will modify its algorithm which could disrupt page rankings of non-friendly websites.

By Joao Lima

Google will update its search engine algorithm tomorrow (April 21st) which could impact the rank order in which websites are displayed on smartphones and tablets.

The company warned developers the algorithm will reorganise websites ranks based on their user friendliness.

Pages with a self-adjusting display mechanism inbuilt that adapts the website to mobile platforms will be ranking higher, leaving pages like the BBC, the Daily Mail, Wikipedia and the EU featuring at the bottom of users’ searches, according to mobile marketing firm Somo.

The update was announced last February when Google revealed 60% of online traffic was generated by mobile devices.

A Google representative said mobile friendliness was "one of many" factors used by the search engine to rank results, but in a blog post the company said it would have "a significant impact" on search results.

"As people increasingly search on their mobile devices, we want to make sure they can find content that’s not only relevant and timely, but also easy to read and interact with on smaller mobile screens," the representative said.

Kevin Dallas, chief product officer at global payment processor Worldpay eCommerce told the BBC: "This move by Google should send a message to companies whose websites are poorly configured for smartphone users that optimising for mobile is no longer a matter of choice," he said.

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"This is particularly relevant for online retailers."

According to an eMarketer report, UK adults will spend in 2015 an average of two hours and 26 minutes a day on mobile devices compared to two hours 13 minutes on a desktop.

The same study predicts mobile search to surpass desktop over the next 12 months, with the majority of ad spend, organic traffic and paid clicks coming from smartphones and tablets.


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