Google: Rankings Drop After Mobile Use Fail?

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Google’s John Mueller responded to a Reddit SEO conversation where a search console alerting about mobile usability was right after followed by a rankings drop in a medical related website.

The timing of the drop in rankings happening right after search console issued an alerting about mobile usability issues made the two events seem related.

The person despaired because they repaired the problem, verified the fix through Google search console however the rankings changes haven’t reversed.

These are the salient details:

“Around Aug. 2022, I discovered that Google Browse Console was saying ALL of our pages were now stopping working Mobile Functionality standards. I had a developer “repair” the pages …

… I resubmitted the sitemap & asked Google to “Validate” all of my repairs on Oct. 25, 2022. It has actually been 15 days with no movement.”

Understanding Changes in Ranking

John Mueller reacted in the Reddit conversation, observing that in his viewpoint the mobile functionality issues were unassociated to the rankings drop.

Mueller composed:

“I’ll go out on a limb and say the factor for rankings changing has nothing to do with this.

I ‘d check out the quality raters guidelines and the content Google has on the current updates for some thoughts, specifically for medical content like that.”

This is an excellent example of how the most obvious factor for something taking place is not always the right factor, it’s just the most obvious.

Obvious is not the like accurate or proper, despite the fact that it might look like it.

When diagnosing an issue it’s important to keep an open mind about the causes and to not stop detecting a problem at the very first more obvious description.

John dismissed the mobile use problem as being major sufficient to impact rankings.

His response recommended that serious content quality issues are a likelier factor for a rankings modification, specifically if the change takes place around the very same time as an algorithm upgrade.

The Google Raters Guidelines are a guide for assessing website quality in an objective way, free of subjective concepts of what constitutes website quality.

So it makes sense that Mueller recommended to the Redditor that they need to read the raters standards to see if the descriptions of what defines site quality matches those of the site in question.

Coincidentally, Google recently published new paperwork for helping publishers comprehend what Google thinks about rank-worthy content.

The document is called, Producing practical, reliable, people-first material. The documents includes an area that’s relevant to this problem, Get to know E-A-T and the quality rater guidelines.

Google’s aid page discusses that their algorithm uses lots of aspects to comprehend whether a webpage is professional, authoritative and reliable, particularly for Your Money Your Life pages such as those on medical topics.

This section of the documents discusses why the quality raters standards details is important:

“… our systems give much more weight to material that aligns with strong E-A-T for subjects that might substantially affect the health, monetary stability, or security of individuals, or the welfare or well-being of society.

We call these “Your Cash or Your Life” topics, or YMYL for short.”

Browse Console Fix Validations Are Typically Informational

Mueller next went over the search console repair validations and what they actually imply.

He continued his response:

“For indexing problems, “confirm fix” helps to accelerate recrawling.

For whatever else, it’s more about giving you details on what’s taking place, to let you understand if your changes had any impact.

There’s no “the site fixed it, let’s release the hand brake” effect from this, it’s truly mainly for you: you said it was great now, and here is what Google discovered.”

YMYL Medical Content

The individual asking the concern reacted to Mueller by noting that the majority of the website material was written by doctors.

They next mention how they likewise compose material that is meant to convey know-how, authoritativeness and reliability.

This is what they shared:

“I have actually attempted to truly compose blog posts & even marketing pages that have a rewarding answer above the fold, but then explain the information after.

Practically everything a person would do if they were legitimate trying to get a response throughout– which is also what you check out to be “EAT” finest practices.


They regreted that their rivals with old material overtook them in the rankings.

Detecting a ranking issue is often more than just navel looking one’s own website.

It may be useful to actually dig into the rival website to comprehend what their strengths are that may be representing their increased search exposure.

It might seem like after an update that Google is “fulfilling” websites that have this or that, like good mobile use, FAQs, and so on.

However that’s not truly how search algorithms work.

Search algorithms, in a nutshell, try to understand 3 things:

  1. The significance of a search questions
  2. The significance of web pages
  3. Site quality

So it follows that any improvements to the algorithm might likely be an improvement in one or all 3 (most likely all three).

And that’s where John Mueller’s encouragement to check out the Google Search Quality Raters Standards (PDF) comes in.

It might also be handy to check out Google’s fantastic Search Quality Raters Standards Summary (PDF) since it’s shorter and simpler to comprehend.


Read the Reddit Question and Answer

Effect Of “Confirming” A Repair In Browse Console/Mobile Use

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