Mobile-friendliness and mobile search are the present and the future of search. Webmasters who accept this will stay secure especially because Google made its intentions clear a few months back with its Mobile-friendly Update which people started calling “Mobilegeddon“. It was felt that it would be so big that it would spell the end of many websites, quite like the Biblical Armageddon war that would end the world.
But was it really the end of the search world as we knew it? How serious was Mobilegeddon, or was it ever? Some experts suggest so and claim that the slow rollout coupled with the shake-up created by the Search Quality update, launched soon after Mobilegeddon, mixed up or disguised the effects of the latter. They also quote data to back it up.
Was Being Mobile-friendly Really Beneficial?
They carried out a test on the top 10 results for various queries on April 17 and the whole of the week, which was before the mobile-friendly algorithmic update was launched , and on May 18 and the whole week, after Google launched the update. The results were that nearly 50% of the non-mobile friendly sites suffered loss in rankings.
While there apparently were a large number of non-mobile friendly sites that were negatively affected, around 15,220 of them, which did vouch for the significance of Mobilegeddon, were replaced by 4,521 mobile-friendly sites that gained rankings, 2,002 new mobile-friendly sites and also 8,698 new non-mobile friendly sites. This did seem to be contradictory. If non-mobile friendly URLs were being targeted, why were many of them being replaced by new non-mobile friendly ones?
Search Quality Update Interfered with Results
This was explained to be as a result of the Search Quality update and other minor algorithmic tweaks that occurred in between. It could also be the slow rollout of the Mobile-friendly Update which Google usually does to test its changes before they increase its impact. It is important to remember that Google has always maintained that Mobile-friendly Update is a bigger one than the Panda and Penguin updates combined.
Winners and Losers Were Identified
Around a week or more after the initial rollout of Mobilegeddon, experts did identify the winners and losers, with fiction writing resource TV Tropes, Entertainment Tonight, JCPenney, etc identified as winners and several popular site such as Reddit, Vogue, NBC Sports, Bloomberg Business, SongLyrics, etc being classified as losers.
Gradual Rollout Confused Webmasters
Around two days after the launch Google confirmed that the rollout is gradual by revealing that the update was live in some data centers, which meant it wasn’t noticeable in others because the rollout was being done gradually.
To sum it all up, with the data gathered thus far over a month since the launch, the Mobile-Friendly Update can be categorized as being a really large one that has indeed shaken up the results. But for various reasons the results have been diluted and not appeared as conclusive as expected.
If your website isn’t quite mobile-friendly but has managed to hang in there it’s one great opportunity to make the change or to get professional SEO services to do that for you, because that really is the future – something Google has made quite clear.