Mobilegeddon Is Beginning, Not Ending

The Mobile Friendly Update has now “fully rolled out” according to Google, but columnist Bryson Meunier believes this is only the beginning.

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Google’s mobile friendly update came and went with a bit of a whimper, rolling out on April 21, 2015, to much fanfare and not much substance.

Part of this is because webmasters were so concerned about the impact of “mobilegeddon” that they finally did what they should have done in 2009 when Google announced blended mobile ranking. Google tells us that there was a 4.7% increase in mobile friendly sites in March and April as a result of this mobile friendly update, so a lot of people were scared enough of potential traffic loss to make their sites mobile friendly.

But then 4/21 came around, and the update was a lot tamer than its apocalyptic nickname implied. Those who monitor changes in rankings en masse didn’t see anything that would justify the Google quote about this update being more significant than Panda or Penguin. While it may have affected a lot of queries, it didn’t (as far as we know) level businesses the way that its predecessors did, and wasn’t “significant” in that sense.

Before we give a collective shrug to the idea of mobile friendly content, however, we should remember three things:

1. Businesses Lost Search Traffic As A Result Of Not Being Mobile Friendly

A new (to the U.S., at least) development resulting from the mobile friendly update is that, for certain queries, listings rank higher in smartphone search than they do in desktop search simply because the site that previously ranked higher is not mobile friendly.

If you still haven’t seen any examples of this, definitely check out Glenn Gabe’s growing list.

You can also see it pretty clearly using SEMRush. If I put in a site that I know is mobile-unfriendly — like our friend (and SEL Editor In Chief) Matt McGee’s U2 fan site, which he said on Mobilegeddon eve would be leveled by the mobile friendly update — we can see that it appears to have taken a little hit.

Not “leveled,” fortunately; but since it’s only 6% mobile-friendly according to SEMRush, we see smartphone rankings decreasing at a faster rate through the mobile update than desktop rankings.

The desktop rankings appear to remain constant, with the site losing only five “top three” search results since April 14.

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Or Take the Free Google Mobile-Friendly Test here…