Mobilegeddon: Will Google’s Mobile-Friendly Update Impact Your Online Ads?

Mobilegeddon is here.

If you have noticed a considerable change in your search engine rankings over the past few days it may have to do with Google’s new Mobile-friendly update. Earlier this week Google made a new Mobile Friendly update to its search ranking algorithm. Google makes changes to its algorithms all the time, around 500-600 per year actually. What makes this one particularly noteworthy is its emphasis on how mobile-friendly your website is.

This post will explain:

  • Why Google decided to make this update?
  • How the update will impact marketers?
  • What marketers can do now that it’s been released?

Why Did Google Make this Update

Mobile has increasingly become the most common way people search the Internet. In fact, more than half of Google’s mobile searches are done on mobile devices. Additionally, ComScore reported that 60% of online traffic to a site comes from mobile devices. This is up from 50% last year and it continues to grow. A Techcrunch study, however, found that only about 44% of Fortune 500 companies were mobile-friendly

How the Google Update Impacts Marketers

Like we mentioned above, the first difference you’ll probably notice is that your search engine rankings are lower (or in some cases higher) than they had been even a week ago. Studies have shown that clickthrough rates for first result on the first page of a search result are typically the highest, (nearly 33%) with CTRs decreasing almost in half for the second position (17.6%) and continues to decrease the lower you get. From result 4 on down, clickthrough rates reduce considerably to single digits.

The bad news is, that a decrease in rankings will also impact the amount of web traffic to your site. The good news however is that Google’s new update rewards sites that have created a web experience that is as simple to use on a smaller device as on a laptop or desktop computer.

The good news is that searches on desktop or laptops won’t be impacted by update, so the search for the same site on a mobile device and on a desktop could yield different results depending on the structure of the site and its mobile friendliness. Additionally, it will not impact your AdWords ads only organic listings. Google is however testing a mobile-friendly tag for AdWord ads.

A Forbes study found that large brand sites like Versace, California Pizza Kitchen, and ironically enough Microsoft Windows phone were among those who risked a lower ranking due to not being mobile-friendly enough. But expert opinion has been mixed on how adversely brands will be impacted by the change in search rank position.

What Should Marketers Do Now

If your company has been putting off the migration to a more mobile-friendly site this Google update just might be the perfect incentive to start reconsidering it.

Not sure if you’re mobile friendly are not? A great place to start is by taking Google’s mobile-friendly test. The tool will provide suggestions; it factors page load time, font size, text heaviness, or if making a site responsive can impact a sites mobile-friendliness.

How a Mobile Site Can Boost Your Business

Certainly higher search rankings and increased web traffic are a benefit of a more mobile-friendly site, but the best reason for making the change is that it’s been proven that mobile searches have a considerably higher conversion rate. Statistics show 70% of mobile searches lead to an action. That can be anything from calling your business to actually visiting it or making an online purchase.

One good thing about Google’s “Mobilegeddon” is that it has allowed us to revisit the importance of having a great mobile site. We hope we got you thinking about the benefits of making your website mobile-friendly: higher mobile search rankings, higher conversions, and more web traffic. Certainly it is not the only factor, but with our increased and varied usage of mobile devices, it is becoming a more relevant one.

Well, at least until the next big Google update.


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