What Happened After Mobilegeddon?

Now that there’s been enough time for the dust to settle, it’s time to ask the question: What happened after Mobilegeddon?

Mobilegeddon, officially known as Mobile Update, was a change in the Google algorithm that penalized websites that were not mobile friendly. Mobile friendly sites are those that can adapt to display a mobile version of the site when a user accesses the site from a mobile device. A non mobile friendly site is a site that will show the desktop version of the site, even when accessed from a mobile device.

Google recognized that non mobile friendly sites were a problem for searchers, who more and more are accessing the web via their mobile devices. Google also recognized that more people prefer a business with a mobile website. So with the Mobile Update, they made it so sites that were not mobile friendly were penalized in the search results, causing them to show up lower.

What happened after Mobilegeddon?

Was Mobile Update deserving of its apocalyptic nickname?

There was a lot of talk prior to the Mobile Update about what kind of effect this would have on website rankings. Would non mobile friendly sites really be effected as drastically as the name Mobilegeddon made it seem?

Well, yes and no. A study by Stone Temple showed that by one measure, non mobile friendly URLs were hit pretty hard by Mobilegeddon. But by another measure, the impact seems a little less severe.

The Study

The study looked at the top 10 results for 15,235 search queries before the algorithm change went into effect, and again one month later.

The study found that almost half of non mobile friendly URLs in the top 10 results dropped in the ranking results, though 20% actually went up in the results. 30% of mobile friendly results increased in the rankings, while 25% of them decreased.

A second measure showed a more muted result. The study found that there was only 1.3% net increase of mobile friendly URLs in the top 10 search results.

Interpreting the Results

So by one measure, non mobile friendly sites got hit pretty hard by Mobilegeddon. But with only a 1.3% net increase in mobile friendly URLs in the top 10, did it really make a big difference?

Stone Temple argues that the rankings were affected by other factors, including an update called Quality Update that occurred after Mobile Update, and the slow rollout of the new algorithm. They also note that Google may still be testing the algorithm, and may increase it’s impact once they’re confident in how it’s working.

Making Your Site Mobile Friendly

While the results of Mobilegeddon may be ambiguous, one thing’s for sure: consumers want mobile friendly sites. If you’re looking to make your website mobile friendly, talk to the Baltimore web design team at Adventure Web Interactive! Call us today at 410.788.7007, or use our contact form.