While the Google Mobilegeddon mobile-friendly search algorithmic update did shake up a few websites in the initial days of its launch, with more than a week passed now, industry experts confess that the impact has not quite lived up to the expectations. For an update that was pointed out (not just by SEO experts, but Google itself) to be larger than the Penguin and Panda updates, the tremors were not as violent.
Initial Shifts in Mobile Search Results
While Google rolled out the update on April 21, 2015 there were shifts noticed in the mobile search results right from the next day. Some of the prominent websites were thought to be affected. Searchmetrics had put up its findings – among the greatest winners were TV Tropes, Entertainment Tonight, JC Penney, Wired and Foreign Affairs. Among the greatest losers were Reddit, Vogue, Bloomberg Business, NBC Sports and SongLyrics. Redditâ€™s home page was one of the sites that failed when put through Googleâ€™s Mobile-Friendly Test, so it probably didn’t come as a surprise.
But in spite of these mobile SERP changes, the changes were not found to be significant enough to justify the expectations. SEO metric companies have not witnessed massive shifts in the ranking algorithm. The only reasonable explanation for this could be that this is a slow rollout that could take up to two weeks for a full launch. April 22 was when the impact was analyzed and documented, but ultimately it turned out to be not big enough.
Google’s Quest for Mobile-Friendliness
It is common knowledge that Google has been keeping on moving towards mobile-friendliness. This is ultimately Googleâ€™s intention, which was revealed back when:
- It launched the “mobile-friendly” text in its search result descriptions from November 2014.
- Consequently it launched the Mobile-Friendly Test.
- Back in October it had already introduced the Mobile Usability scrutiny feature to its Webmaster Tools.
These were all tremors building up to the giant quake, but were then only considered to be steps to benefit mobile users and not to penalize sites not performing well on smartphones.
The bombshell was dropped in November when Google mentioned that it was conducting experiments on making mobile-friendly criteria a ranking signal. Though this was no prediction of how soon mobile-friendliness would end up as a ranking signal, it was a clear clue, based on the corresponding developments, that Google was doing something. Smart SEO professionals and webmasters would have got to work immediately to make their website design more responsive, or design an all new mobile version of their site.
The Wake up Call
The conspicuous wakeup call came in January 2015 when Google began to send warnings to website owners whose sites it had detected to be not mobile-friendly when it checked with its Webmaster Tools. The warning contained a threat that such pages would be “appropriately” ranked and displayed in mobile search. The warnings were repeated in February, but this time with the deadline of April 21, 2015 when it would launch the mobile-friendly Mobilegeddon update.
Mobilegeddon Yet to be Fully Felt
Experts do accept that any update, however big it is, would take a few weeks for its impact to be fully realized. But even by those standards Mobilegeddon is not considered to have made a relatively sizeable impact with more than a week having passed.
In any case it is high time you put your website through Googleâ€™s Mobile-Friendly Test, identify the issues, and make it totally mobile user-friendly, before the fuller impact of the significant algorithm change is felt. This apparent delay could be a lifesaver for your site.