So we know Google News ranking is unaffected by the upcoming mobile friendly ranking algorithm. But we wanted to know if the In The News box that shows both news publishers and non-news publishers would be impacted.
Google has finally sent me a statement saying the In The News box will be impacted by the mobile-friendly algorithm and then expanded on that, which may confuse you. Here is the statement as posted on Google+:
+Barry Schwartz , in response to your question on whether the "In The News" box in the search results will also be impacted by the mobile friendly ranking algorithm: the mobile-friendly ranking change is focused on the "list of links" part of search results. Components of the search results page such as "In the News" rely on different mixes of ranking signals to determine relevance; they may use mobile-friendliness as a ranking factor, but that may have a different impact on the results displayed.
Got that. So "the "In The News" box in the search results will also be impacted by the mobile friendly ranking algorithm." But there may be a group of links in the cluster that might not be mobile friendly? Do you understand the second part of the statement clearly? So while the overall In The News box will be impacted, it seems like some non mobile friendly results may show up based on relevancy.
Here is a picture of the In The News box on desktop:
Here is a picture of the same search result on a mobile device, notice there is no mobile-friendly label in the results for the In The News box:
Anyway, I think I am out of questions for Google on this mobile-friendly algorithm. Is there anything else you guys want to know? I think I've pulled out close to 20 different tidbits of information on this upcoming algorithm that was not previously released in their original blog post.
Forum discussion at Google+.
Update: Truth is, reading this statement over and over again, it seems like the In The News box will NOT be impacted by the mobile friendly algorithm. I am not sure. :)