Google Penalties For Non-Mobile Publishers


Digital publishers without a mobile site strategy will face natural search rankings penalties from Google, believes Fiona Salmon, Publisher Solutions Director at digital advertising company Vibrant Media.


‘Hummingbird’, Google’s search algorithm which was released this Autumn, is intended to allow for the fact that more searches are being conducted and more content being viewed on smartphones. As people are now using their smartphone’s voice recognition facility to actually talk to Google, this has made Google change the way they respond to search terms, with more of a focus on natural speech.


“I believe that in the not too distant future, search engines will begin to prioritise media titles with mobile responsive sites in their results pages when consumers conduct searches on handheld devices.”


“Regardless of the secrecy of Google’s algorithm update strategy, I predict that an update is coming that will see publishers without a mobile site, both mainstream and niche, drop down mobile search results pages and then scramble to get a decent mobile site together.” said Ms Salmon.


A number of publishers do now have mobile sites and content that works for mobile devices, however Vibrant Media’s R&D department found that 68 per cent of the UK’s 175 top publishers do not have a site that works well with mobile devices.