A Reality Check: Life after Google’s Mobile Friendly Update

In early April, we wrote about Google’s new algorithm update, which was set to be released on April 21st – an update that would cause the search engine to weigh heavily in favor of mobile-friendly websites for the first time ever.

Back then, the industry was in upheaval – many site owners we’re wary about what their futures held.

  • “What will Google’s mobile-friendly update mean for my site?”
  • “What will my rankings look like?”
  • “Will I lose organic traffic altogether?”

These were just a few of the worries many business owners were grappling with.

Now, one month later, we wanted to revisit the topic and see what actually happened as a result of this change (aka “Mobilegeddon”).

The Impact of “Mobilegeddon” as seen by industry experts

So far, it seems that Google’s looming mobile-friendly change potential impact was overblown – and it didn’t have as much an impact on search results or organic traffic as everyone thought it would.

According to Search Engine Land, very little changed at all – at least when one SEO expert looked at the results of nearly 70 law firm websites last week.

Search Engine Land’s study included 69 law firms – 12 of which were not mobile-friendly. After excluding first-week data (when kinks were still being worked out), researchers were able to determine that the results weren’t statistically significant. In fact, after studying the difference in performance between the mobile-friendly and the non-mobile friendly sites, the stats we’re only minutely different. They didn’t indicate a trend or anything that would significantly impact performance at all.

Let’s look at the results some other experts in the industry found:

  • According to Moz, none of the large sites it tracks saw any major dip or jump in traffic, regardless of how mobile-friendly the site was. In the top 20 sites, a few switched spots here and there, but nothing significant was changed.
  • Taking a look from a different point a view – According to Moz, URLs with a “mobile friendly” tag in Google jumped from 66.3 percent to 72.3 percent from April 21 to April 22, the day after Google’s algorithm was changed. Over the next few days, it crept up even further,
  • Marketing Land says “mobilegeddon” has come and gone with “barely a whimper.” Their SEO expert says both desktop and mobile positions has not dropped for sites monitored, and other experts at a recent mobile conference say they have seen few changes, too.
  • BrightEdge did find that the mobile updates had an impact – particularly when you look beyond page one in Google rankings. The site’s researchers found a 21-percent decrease in rankings for non-mobile URLs within the first three pages, and a 20 to 25-percent decrease on the rankings on pages 2 and 3 alone.

But despite the lack of major change seen since mobilegeddon, that doesn’t mean Google’s recent update will go unnoticed. If you look at past updates – the Panda one in particular – you’ll see that Google has much more sway in web success that you’d like to think.

There’s a strong possibility that this was only the beginning – and that Google will continue to roll out algorithms in favor of mobile-friendly sites, as the market (and traffic) in these arenas continues to grow.

Many industry experts believe that the, April 21’s update was simply a precursor to stricter updates down the line. And despite what the numbers say, it’s almost too soon to tell if it was a success. Maybe Google’s update will make a difference a few months more down the line. Or maybe it’s a sign of what’s to come – a more mobile-leaning Internet audience on the whole.

The importance of having a mobile friendly website for businesses

Ranking is only one factor when considering the importance of mobile friendly website. The truth is, If you want to stay competitive in today’s market, having a mobile friendly website isn’t just an option; it’s a necessity. After all, 80 percent of all Internet users own a smartphone, and mobile web use actually overtook traditional PC web use in 2014, meaning more people are using their phones to access the web than they are laptops, desktops or any other older form of technology.

If you’re site’s not mobile-friendly or you’re unsure how to make it so, contact Spot On Digital Marketing today. Our experts are here to help.


About the author 

Michelle Castillo

Michelle is an online marketing expert , passionate about helping business owners to benefit from today’s online technology. I provide my clients with hype-free concise advice and services about the reality of what online success requires.

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