Mobilegeddon & The Latest Google Quality Update: The Impact on Local Search

  • Published
  • May 19, 2015
Intro Image to the Latest Google Updates Blog Post
From Mobilegeddon to the recent Quality Update, get caught up on the latest changes to Google’s search ranking algorithm.

So it looks like Google has been quite the busy little bee in the last three months!

I had already covered the major Google updates of February and March 2015 in previous Local Search Tips blog posts. First there was the announcement made in February that Google and Twitter had struck a deal to give the search engine direct access to the social network’s “firehose” of tweets, making it more important than ever for small businesses to get on Twitter. Then a month later in March, Google announced they were launching a new algorithm update aimed at penalizing websites with doorway pages. And since there are a high proportion of local business websites that utilize doorways as an intentional black-hat SEO strategy for greater search visibility, many were likely negatively impacted by this algorithmic penalty.

But since my last post, there have been not one but two additional monumental changes to Google’s search ranking algorithm.

Mobilegeddon: Is Your Local Business Site Mobile-Friendly?

Image for Mobilegeddon
Did you know? Google made it their mission to ensure only mobile-friendly websites would rank at the top of smartphone or tablet search results by April 21, 2015.

Some of you might already be aware of this, but April 2015 was a game-changing month for Google. And considering how busy they’ve been over the last three months, that’s saying a lot!

On April 21, 2015, the search company officially rolled out their “mobile-friendly” ranking algorithm update.

What is now commonly referred to as Mobilegeddon, this was a monumental event that had a huge impact on the search visibility of a local business website in mobile search. That’s because webpages that passed Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test got a boost in mobile search rankings, while those that failed the test were subsequently pushed down in Google’s mobile search results.

But the thing that made this update different from past algorithm changes, such as Panda or Penguin? Google gave everyone two months’ notice with details on the nature of this mobile-friendly update, as well as the exact roll-out date! This was truly unprecedented.

Prior notification of Mobilegeddon was definitely a blessing in disguise. Instead of being penalized for having websites that weren’t “mobile-friendly,” advanced knowledge of this Google update gave local businesses the opportunity to make the appropriate site changes needed to ensure they pass Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test.

Unsure of whether your local business website is considered “mobile-friendly” in the eyes of Google? Want to know if your site was penalized by this mobile search update?

A list of everything you need to know about Mobilegeddon:

The Google Quality Update: Did Your Business Website Experience a Recent Rankings Shake-Up?

Image for the new Google Quality Update
It was just confirmed by Google today that a major rankings shake-up occurred during May 2015. How does this impact your business website’s local search visibility?

April was undoubtedly a busy month for many local business owners who had to scramble to get their site up to speed in order to pass Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test. But don’t breathe a sigh of relief just yet! That’s because Barry Schwartz from Search Engine Land just announced today the rumours of a major Google ranking algorithm update taking place in May 2015 is true.

Previously referred to as the “Phantom Update” and now known unofficially as the new “Quality Update,” this rankings switch-up was officially confirmed today by Google. The search company has also emphasized that this update is not related to Panda or Penguin. Instead, it has to do with overall quality in general. And since we are still in the early days, not a lot has been reported on the nature of this latest Google update.

Stay tuned to the FS Local blog for future updates on this recent Google algorithm update. For now, here are some things to consider.

A list of everything you need to know about the new Google Quality Update:

Karina Shum


Search Marketing Expert at FS Local


Here at FS Local, Karina is the go-to person on all topics pertaining to search marketing, and is the resident WordPress expert. She supports buying handmade and enjoys befriending fellow local artisans at the Toronto Bead Fair, Creativ Festival, and One of a Kind Show. Her current love? The colourful jellybean houses of St. John’s, Newfoundland.

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