Google's Matt Cutts: Mobile Sites For "Most Part: Only Impact Mobile Search Results

Mar 18, 2014 • 8:59 am | comments (10) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google Search Engine Optimization

google mobile iconAt SMX West, Google's Matt Cutts said something very interesting. I tweeted it and Matt Cutts responded but that made it even more interesting.

I took from what Matt said that mobile sites or lack there of, would not just impact Google's mobile search results but may also have some sort of impact on Google's desktop search results. I am not saying Matt said this, he did not. but he did say and then clarified later, that mobile sites "for the most part" only impact mobile search results. But what about the other part? Is there any impact on desktop results?

Here are the tweets:

What does the "most part" mean? Am I looking too deeply into what Matt said here or did not say?

We also know Matt Cutts said that Google's mobile queries may surpass that of their PC/desktop counterparts in 2014. Of course, Google's PR team would not confirm or give us any details on that, but Matt did suggest this may happen in 2014.

So maybe what Matt is saying is that mobile and desktop over 2014 are merging, becoming more and more unified, so over time, the desktop results will match that off the mobile results and thus, a mobile site is a must in the future? Or maybe not.

When you write about SEO all the time and focus so much on how words are written or spoken, you get a bit obsessive over them. Sometimes more than you should?

Forum discussion at Twitter.

Previous story: Dilbert On Search Keyword Research


Chris B

03/18/2014 01:34 pm

Thanks for sharing this. It's tough still not getting answers, but it's good to see this being talked about more since it's so nebulous. Hopefully more discussions will lead to testing, or even clear answers.

Durant Imboden

03/18/2014 01:41 pm

Maybe he was simply being cautious? "For the most part" could easily be a phrase like "As far as I know," "At the present time," "Under normal circumstances," etc.


03/18/2014 02:12 pm

I had an issue where the alternate tag was point to a URL that was a duplicate of the real URL and it caused the wrong URL to be indexed. I had to wait for IT to fix it. Then the canonical on the mobile site was pointing to a 404 page. These kind of things could be examples where the mobile site could hurt the desktop site.

Michael Ramsey

03/18/2014 04:18 pm

This sounds likely to me. Just avoiding being too specific. That being said, there are some examples of how mobile and desktop optimization could have issues that overlap like Rick notes above.

James R. Halloran

03/18/2014 09:14 pm

I agree. What does he mean by "for the most part." Sounds like Matt is using some well known Google trick language to pull the rug out from beneath us again.

Peter Watson

03/19/2014 11:20 am

So why do the 9 sites above me for main term in my niche outrank my site when they are not even mobile friendly (or responsive), and my site is responsive and much faster? #mattcutts

John Britsios

03/19/2014 07:38 pm

Barry I am all the time obsessive over them. Don't give up man! Good stuff.

John Britsios

03/19/2014 07:47 pm

Speed is one of about 600 ranking factors. So you better ask yourself: How many factors do your competitors satisfy, and how many do you? And to clarify: If you have a slow mobile compatible web site or site version like responsive, progressive etc, which means you do not fully satisfy the speed factor, you probably will not rank so well in Google's Mobile Search. If your site is not mobile compatible, or had a mobile version. you most probably will not rank at all.

Peter Watson

03/19/2014 09:01 pm

Good points Jon, but from what I can tell, my speed is much faster than the sites that rank above me. I'm sure there must be other factors at play here and that's fine, but my point is that my competition are not responsive, yet in mobile search they continue to outrank my site for my main terms only (long tail I do very well).


07/16/2014 07:17 pm

I have the same problem Peter. I am in the "A" spot for local keyword search on a desktop, but when searched from a mobile device a site that doesn't even have a mobile site ranks above me. My site is mobile friendly as it has a responsive design. The site that ranks above me has to be enlarged and you have to scroll just to read it. Very frustrating!

blog comments powered by Disqus