How to Identify the Impact of Future Mobile Algorithm Updates

The introduction of Google’s mobile search algorithm caused panic within the SEO marketplace in April and since then many online business owners have been trying to analyze the impact the update would have on their site. By understanding the causes behind their losses and gains of mobile clicks and mobile search queries, companies can insulate their site from future changes to the mobile algorithm and take a granular approach to improving their mobile site experience. In this post, we’ll look at the techniques used to identify the impact of future mobile algorithm updates.

Begin Analysis using Search Analytics Report

Most webmasters now have their Google Search Analytics report set-up, with the application working to analyze their site’s performance. For those that are yet to complete this process, it’s important to do so to ensure effective analysis in the long-term future. Through the Search Analytics report, users can view the following data sets: clicks, pages, countries, devices, search type and dates.

By setting the dates tab to the 4th of April, 2015-to-30th of April, 2015, users can now see how their mobile site has changed since the Google mobile algorithm update. For those whose sites lost more clicks than they gained in this time, it’s important to narrow down which pages were responsible for this net loss.

Google Search Analytics will provide users with the specific URL for each page and how that URL fared in terms of clicks within their set data range. We can then drill down further by clicking the “Queries” tab, and then webmasters will see the specific keywords for which the URL is provided in search results. By clicking the “Difference” column within Search Analytics, webmasters can then clearly see the keyword and the associated landing page most responsible for any dips in clicks to the site.

Use Data Patterns to Identify the Cause of Loss of Links

Users can now see where their sites are falling short in terms of clicks. But they also need to know why. There are some techniques to hone in on the culprit. First, review the “Clicks” column to take note of any changes and when these changes occur in the calendar. Then repeat the process for “Position” to see if the ranking position correlates with the downswing in “Clicks”. Once you’ve established a correlation, webmasters can then check the dates for when the downward trending data occurred and see if the trend emerged during the mobile update.

Finally, change the “Devices” tab to desktop to ensure that the change was only seen in mobile device activity. This will tell the user whether the cause was the mobile update or a problem with the desktop and mobile optimization process. By then identifying this cause, they can review the latest mobile optimization techniques to improve that URL’s performance.

It’s a step-by-step process that helps eliminate some of the many challenges of mobile site management. As Google continues to refine their mobile-friendliness standards, site owners must continue to learn how to analyze the data and use the actionable information available to improve their mobile websites. To discover more on this process, speak with our mobile experts directly!