bryan coe digital marketing strategist

Google’s New Mobile-Friendly Update Does Not Affect AdWords

google adwords logoYou may have heard the news from Google that they have updated their algorithm to include mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal. The update, which went into effect on April 21, 2015, will only affect organic search, NOT paid search/AdWords.  In fact mobile-friendliness has been part of the AdWords quality score since 2011.

This was confirmed by Kate O’Donovan from the Google AdWords team in Dublin. She posted the announcement in the Google AdWords Help forum:

Starting Today, April 21 2015, we will be expanding our use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal. This change will affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide and will have a significant impact in our search results.

 While this change will not impact your advertising campaigns, mobile friendliness has been an ads quality factor since November 2011

She also ended her post by stating it even more clearly:

Remember this update will not affect your AdWords performance or your individual Quality Scores.

What’s the take away from this? Well, if you haven’t updated your site to be mobile friendly and you’re running paid search ad campaigns with AdWords, you’re probably already taking a hit on your quality score for mobile ads. You can overcome this, but generally if you want to overcome poor quality scores, you will end up paying more for your clicks. But the most recent update to Google’s Algorithm will not change this.

Want to check if your pages are mobile-friendly? Google gives us a great tool for this: Google’s Mobile Friendly Test Tool. They’ve also created a guide to help you get your site mobile-friendly: Google Mobile Guide