Google is rolling out a couple new updates designed to punish, “spammy queries,” and bad mobile sites.
Matt Cutts has been warning of the impending changes for months and had even name-checked a few likely targets, including searches for “payday loans,” on Google.co.uk. Pornographic queries are also being targeted, though specific searches weren’t mentioned.
Gambling related queries were not specifically mentioned and, so far, gambling sites seem unaffected.
Google’s end-game is improving end-user experiences by clamping down on specific searches that turn up unusually spammy results.
The new algo changes are expected to impact between 0.3%-0.5% of English language queries, though some industries will be hit much harder than others. (Though in places like Turkey, that number could go as high as 4%.)
This latest set of algorithm updates comes just weeks after the long-promised rollout of Penguin 2.0.
Bad Mobile SEO
Bad mobile SEO is also being targeted by the new updates, though they’ve yet to be rolled out. In Google’s words, “…we plan to roll out several ranking changes in the near future that address sites that are misconfigured for smartphone users.”
Google seems particularly concerned by mobile sites that redirect users to spammy pages, or simply send mobile users off to an error page that desktop users can access. Publishers should also be careful not to post videos on their mobile sites that can’t actually be played on mobile devices.
To avoid getting snared up in this latest algorithm update, Cutts has this advice:
Try to test your site on as many different mobile devices and operating systems, or their emulators, as possible, including testing the videos included on your site.
Doing so will improve the mobile web, make your users happy, and allow searchers to experience your content fully.
This update is particularly interesting because it shows Google is getting ahead of questionable mobile practices before they get too entrenched.
Cutts says that the updates will be completely rolled out within the next 1-2 months.
Have you been impacted by the spammy query or mobile SEO updates? Share your experiences in the comments section below.