The Truth About Mobilegeddon

05-05-2015

It has now been just over 3 weeks since the release of Google’s major search update known as “Mobilegeddon”.

Officially released on the 21st April 2015, the search engine introduced a new system that penalises websites that do not provide a positive user experience for mobile users. If your website doesn’t have a tailored mobile site or offer effective responsive design, then it is likely to be affected by the change in Google’s algorithm.

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Anticipation following this algorithm update, especially among SEO experts, was quite crazy, especially as a few believed that the impact on small to medium sized businesses could be greater than the Panda or Penguin.

The potential impact of this update was to be very large. Industry reports suggest that as many as 40% of websites fail to meet the criteria for Google’s optimal user experience when viewed on a smartphone or tablet. Since updates from Panda and Penguin were notoriously impactful, this new change was expected to have even more impact.

Now the dust has started to settle and it turns out Mobilegeddon has been the most gradual release of a major Google update to date. This said, it should not be disregarded. This is a major update from Google and should be treated as such.

Only a few business owners saw a dramatic change on the morning of the 21st April 2015 and the entire roll out was confirmed by Google Analyst, Gary Illyes, to be in full effect on May 1st 2015. Gary also pointed out that “There were a load of websites that became MF [mobile-friendly] recently.” Due to this, the impact of Mobilegeddon was much lower than Google’s analysts and spam fighting teams had anticipated.

So what’s changed? Mobilegeddon doesn’t technically affect desktop searches. Websites that lack an appropriately user-friendly mobile version are excluded from mobile search results. While it may seem relieving to businesses that without a mobile website their site will still be included in desktop searches, one must keep in mind that click-through rates and site popularity factor into search results. If your business loses its ability to capture mobile traffic, the results for your ranking in desktop searches could be devastating.

80% of internet users own a smartphone. This is only going to increase. As other devices such as Smart TV’s, Gaming Consoles and Smart Watches are increasing in popularity it is becoming a must for websites to rethink their design to work across multiple platforms.

If you feel that these new changes have, or are going to impact you, we invite you to get in touch with ICON today to discuss.