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Life After Mobilegeddon

Megan Totka
Life After Mobilegeddon

When news of the coming “Mobilegeddon” broke, there was nothing short of chaos. Businesses small and large quickly assumed that they’d lose their hard-earned organic position in Google’s rankings. As a result, they quickly adopted mobile-friendly designs to conform to the search giant’s algorithm change. It’s been two and a half months since they released the new ranking algorithm, and we can finally see the actual results of all of that panic. Was it really as catastrophic as we thought it would be?

So What’s Changed?

Now that the smoke has cleared, more and more analysts and marketing experts are looking at the actual results of Mobilegeddon. Since the release, several companies have released their own analysis of what happened, and these are the highlights of their research.

Searchmetrics noticed that many non-mobile friendly sites experienced very little change in their desktop visibility in the search results. However, the mobile visibility of these sites was severely impacted by the change. Boxofficemojo.com, for instance, lost over 35% of its mobile visibility by failing to update to a mobile-friendly design.

If you look at the search results themselves, rather than individual sites, you will see a strong difference in the before and after. BrightEdge, for instance, noticed that in their tracking of over 20,000 URLs, those that weren’t mobile-friendly disappeared from the first three pages of search results by about 21%.

Moz, on the other hand, pointed out that we may not have seen a significant difference between pre- and post-Mobilegeddon search results because businesses and developers were given plenty of warning. The announcement of the algorithm change came two months in advance, so there was ample time to update a site’s design. As a result, a large number of sites were already mobile-friendly before the change came along. So unsurprisingly, the effects were significantly less dramatic than expected.

mobilegeddon - Image: Pixabay

Now that mobile-friendliness has been immortalized among other highly important ranking factors, what’s the next major consideration for web developers and business owners?

Load time has actually proven to carry a lot of weight in Google’s ranking algorithm. So even if you’ve updated to a responsive template, you may still be penalized if your pages are slow to load. Google’s algorithms are complex, finely tuned machines, and it’s very important that you consider a variety of factors before you deem your site search-worthy.

So while mobile-friendliness has quickly become the next big thing in marketing and SEO, it isn’t the only factor to consider while optimizing your site. The effects of this new algorithm change weren’t as dramatic as we initially expected, but they’re still persuasive enough that it’s become a high priority for both marketers and developers alike.

Either way, we survived Mobilegeddon and we’re looking forward to what comes next.

Learn more about how to optimize your site for Google in 2015.

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Megan Totka is the Chief Editor for ChamberofCommerce.com which helps small businesses grow their business on the web and facilitates connectivity between local businesses and more than 7,000 Chambers of Commerce worldwide. She specializes on the topic of small business tips and resources and business news. Megan has several years of experience on the topics of small business marketing, copywriting, SEO, online conversions and social media. Megan spends much of her time establishing new relationships for ChamberofCommerce.com, publishing weekly newsletters educating small business on the importance of web presence, and contributing to a number of publications on the web. Megan can be reached at [email protected]
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G.T. Marie
Great input, Megan. I'm a content writer and I've gotten started with mobilizing my "content" for mobile sites. Even if your site isn't mobile-friendly, you can make your content accessible for the mobile user:

- Front load lists with bullets or numeration so that mobile users can get your content right away.

- Use internal links in content sparingly, so that mobile users don't have to work too hard to access them as they are dealing with text-driven sites.

- Use the right font, 16 pts, so that your content is accessible on both desktops and smartphones.

Once again, thanks for the great post. I look forward to running into more of your guest blogs in the future.
Good read, Megan. I personally did not have so much as a statistical whimper with this particular algo change as I made sure all my clients were well prepared to the best of my ability. Since most of us in digital marketing knew it was coming for a very long time, when it actually came to pass it was fairly anti-climactic.
Patrick Coombe
Thanks Megan, good references. I'm surprised more people aren't talking about this. I put mobilegeddon on the same level as Penguin, just in the sheer amount of change that happened in the SERPs.