Like New Year’s Eve, the day ‘Mobilegeddon’ hit was greatly anticipated but flattered to deceive. Most websites didn’t disappear from the face of the internet: it generally appeared to be business as usual.  

Aspectus was developing our new mobile-friendly website when the update was rolled out, and that meant we were in a great position to answer some of the questions the update has posed. April 2015 May 2015

Did Mobilegeddon affect both desktop and mobile rankings?

In short, no. For us, at least, the pages for the main sectors we work in (financial services, energy, technology and engineering) dropped for mobile search results – but showed little or no movement for desktop results.

Aspectus generally has page one visibility for landing pages and keywords related to our primary sectors. Two days after the update, these pages had dropped to the bottom of page one for mobile search results, and by the following week were on the second page. The impact was minimal as the website  is not heavily dependent on mobile traffic.

Mobile rankings rebounded within two days of the launch of our new responsive design, so recovery can be fast.

Is mobile-friendliness now the most important ranking factor?

It is highly unlikely, mainly because Google tries to diversify its ranking signals.

Searchmetrics, an SEO software company, regularly produces a winners and losers report for many of Google’s algorithmic changes. Their analysis of the mobile-friendliness update mirrors the Aspectus experience.

Sites deemed to have ‘lost out’ the most are those with a disparity between mobile and desktop site quality and user interaction, causing desktop and mobile search results to be increasingly different.

It might be that Google’s roll-out hints at a plan to expand the type of search result it will show. Although given how often the algorithms change, trying to deal with how Google displays its results can be a pointless exercise.

Conversely, most aspects of re-launching or developing a website can be controlled. Setting the correct foundations, providing quality content that visitors can navigate easily remains the key to good visibility in search results.

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