On February 26th, 2015 Google’s Webmaster Central Blog announced a mobile algorithm update for April 21st, 2015. This is the first time Google has ever given an exact date for an algorithm update, so the digital world was expecting big things, dubbing the event ‘Mobilegeddon’. In fact, we teamed up with our sister company Isobar to create a handy Mobilegeddon infographic for you.
The update will effectively penalise websites which Google does not deem to be mobile friendly and the impact is expected to be widespread. Prior to the update, Portent tested 25,000 ‘top rated websites’ by the Majestic Million and Alexa, of which 10,000 failed Google’s Mobile Friendly Test.
In the past few days, since the update, we have seen little movement across mobile SERPs (search engine results pages), with still many results appearing for the high number of websites labelled unfriendly.
So does this mean the mobile SERPs are safe? Was this just a scaremongering tactic by Google?
Although Mobilegeddon has so far failed to shake up the mobile SERPs this doesn’t mean we are in the clear just yet.
What we know so far
There are two key takings from the announcement that have put our minds at rest:
1) The update will not affect your desktop rankings
2) Individual pages will be affected only, not your entire mobile website
In advance of the update we analysed our clients’ websites for their mobile-friendliness by using Google’s Mobile Friendly tool and user testing their websites on mobile devices. We also took our clients top keywords and benchmarked their mobile rankings.
We have not yet seen any major impact across our clients’ rankings and mobile traffic (positive or negative). In fact, some of our clients who failed the mobile friendly test have actually seen a minor improvement.
For example, we looked at mobile Rankings for the competitive term ‘Car Insurance’ before and after the update went live with the results detailed below:
Websites that failed the Google Mobile Friendly test are, in fact, performing better than they were. The competitive nature of this keyword is more than likely the reason for the movement in positions, rather than the mobile algorithm update, but we certainly see no negative impact from it.
It is likely that the full effect of Mobilegeddon has yet to hit.
What this means for you?
If your website has failed the Mobile Friendly Test there is still time to make changes before the affects come into play.
Website owners may also be under the illusion that because their current traffic to their site via mobile is minimal there is no reason to be concerned.
However, if your mobile traffic is low and your site is not mobile-friendly, you are likely missing out on a large portion of potential visits. There would be a great opportunity to increase your overall traffic if you were to introduce a mobile friendly platform – and be in better positions as the popularity of mobile continues to grow. If you are still not convinced on the popularity of mobile visit our mobile infographic we released earlier this week.
If you have any concerns on the health of your mobile site then get in contact with the SEO department here at iProspect to put your mind at ease. Google is not one to joke around so it is a definite ‘watch this space’ as the full impact of this algorithm is yet to seen…