Was Google’s “Mobilegeddon” All Talk?


Do you remember Google’s mobile friendly update that was christened “mobilegeddon?” We mentioned it briefly on our Facebook page, linking to an article from TheGuardian.com. The aim of mobilegeddon was to update Google’s mobile-ranking algorithm, and thus help mobile users find websites that they could browse from their mobile devices. Any website that turned out to be mobile friendly would rank higher in Google searches—and mobilegeddon would have a much stronger impact on search rankings than Google’s two previous updates, Panda and Penguin. More specifically, mobilegeddon involved the use of a “mobile friendly test tool” in order to help users determine which websites were mobile friendly as opposed to those that were not.

In Google’s mind, mobilegeddon would heavily impact ranking as we know it. Businesses more positively affected by mobilegeddon would see higher rankings on a SERP and thus more business and traffic on their websites. For those who were affected negatively by the mobile friendly update, of course, the opposite would be true. In the end, mobilegeddon could have wound up forcing different business websites to update and become more mobile friendly so they could retain a strong competitive presence in their respective industries.

However, was mobilegeddon really everything that it was hyped up to be?

Not particularly—at least not for a group of law firm websites.

According to a recent study, the mobile friendly update from Google hardly affected several small law firm websites. The experimenters collected data on 69 different websites of small law firms over the course of 16 days only to find that, to them, mobilegeddon was horribly over-hyped.

12 of the 69 law firm websites that they analyzed had not been optimized to be mobile friendly. After keeping tabs on all of the websites’ traffic and statistics, they placed the data collected from the two groups side by side for a comparison. When they did, SearchEngineLand discovered that the statistical difference between the data from the mobile friendly websites versus the non-mobile friendly websites was incredibly insignificant. Thus, they concluded that Google’s “mobilegeddon” had hardly done anything to affect mobile friendly websites versus their non-mobile friendly brethren—and, they determined, that this mobile friendly update would have done little to nothing for other types of small businesses.

Interestingly, Conrad Saam, who wrote the article posted on SearchEngineLand.com, writes that the law firm websites that were not mobile friendly actually “outperformed the mobile friendly group.” Wow—this is not quite what we would have expected from an update that had so many non-mobile friendly websites concerned about their rankings and business performances!

Will there be more tests of Google’s mobilegeddon in the future—and perhaps some led by different people? It’s possible. Will these future tests be performed with various types of industries’ websites? Maybe! Perhaps branching out and testing different industries’ websites would be a great way of further determining just how effective (or ineffective) mobilegeddon really is. Having a broader amount of studies to look at will help others come to more informed conclusions on Google’s latest mobile friendly update. In the meantime, we will be vigilant in learning more about this interesting mobile friendly update.

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