‘Mobilegeddon’ is here! But is it as ominous as it sounds? ‘Mobilegeddon’ was the name given to Google’s 2017 mobile update, mobile-friendly search algorithm, before it was to come into effect this January. Now, January is here, but how exactly does it affect us online store selling machines and are you ready for it?

This new Google update affects mobile content visibility ranking and affects mostly pop-ups, or interstitial – their technical term. With most of us using pop-ups on our online stores, ‘Mobilegeddon’ may seem like a big deal, targeting mostly intrusive pop-ups that make it difficult for online shoppers and searchers to access the content that they expect to see when they reach a page. Although this will only affect a subset of natural search performance, results in a lower ranking on Google’s Mobile search are likely to occur, which ultimately could lower your potential to compete effectively for online shoppers searching for products that you are selling.

So, how do we ensure your site is optimized? According to Google, this is what constitutes an ‘intrusive interstitial (or pop-up):

  • A pop-up that covers your main content and one that immediately suggests that users navigate to another page.
  • When you’re using a pop-up layout and design that matches the overall layout of the content page, while displaying the pop-up above the fold and the content below the fold.
  • Showing standalone pop-ups that the user has to dismiss before they can access the page content that they were searching for.

intrusive interstitial or pup-ups

Source: Google Webmaster Central Blog.

This update, however, will not affect eCommerce sites that avoid large, intrusive pop-ups for things such as promotions and email collection and does not apply to Desktop sites. What does this mean for our Coupon Pop users? Absolutely nothing! You can be safe in the knowledge that our app is perfectly optimized for this latest update and you can continue to use your database-growing, sales-converting pop-ups well at ease. Why? The Coupon Pop app comes with a side tab, which means to display the pop up, you need to click on it to trigger it. Google doesn’t punish if the user is actively clicking on a tab to get a pop-up.

Here are the specifications from Google stipulating what constitutes a ‘good’ pop-up.

More good news is that this update, unlike some previous updates, is happening in real-time. In other words, each time Google crawls your mobile site, it will re-rank it according to any new changes you’ve made. So if you are not using optimized mobile pop-ups, you still have time to optimize to lessen any page rank damage.

You can use the Mobile Usability tool which is available in Google’s Search Console to check the state of your Mobile site optimization.

Google’s Search Console Screenshot

More Factors Affecting Mobile Search Rankings

Besides the new update, what else could be affecting your mobile search rankings you may ask? Here are a list of the top optimizations that your online store should be following:

Mobile Site Performance

This refers to the load time, and therefore accessibility and user experience of your mobile site, and not optimizing accordingly can result in lower ranking. Mobile devices are normally more unreliable when it comes to cellular connects, so it’s particularly important that you have optimized by using images that are smaller to ensure quicker loading. Check out Shopify’s 10 Must-Know Image Optimization Tips.

Mobile Ready Content

I am sure by now many of you have adapted your sites so they are responsive. Meaning, your web content displays well across all devices, and results in a higher ranking by Google. If you are still using separate sites for Mobile and Desktop, remember to ensure you have excluded duplicate content from Google’s crawlers, as this will lower your search rank as well.

I hope this last-minute guide to Google’s 2017 Mobile Update puts you at ease and helps with your Search Rankings. If you have questions about Mobile SEO or Coupon Pop, comment below and we will be in touch!