Worse Than The Armageddon: The Mobilegeddon!
Imagine you finally have reached the peak of your marketing strategy. Your business has ranked in the highest positions on Google and the traffic overflows your website. Pride and joy are glistening on your face. And then April 21st, 2015 happened. The day when the online world faced one of its greatest challenges and when SEO (Search Engine Optimization) was in serious peril. Armageddon was no longer a movie starring Bruce Willis, but a cruel reality that took all businesses by surprise and led to coining a new word that is pretty much popular among the tech savvies – Mobilegeddon.
But, what is Mobilegeddon and how does it affect your business? Read on to find out if a simple Google update can cause such a paramount catastrophe!
Mobilegeddon – Wait, What?
The update of SEO as we know it came with Google’s decision to give an advantage to those who have invested their resources in designing their websites as compatible to mobile screens. While that may look like a step forward and an extraordinary opportunity, it simply isn’t. It is a nightmare for the sites that can’t abide by the new, mobile-friendly conditions of Google and are likely to get thrown at the bottom of Google’s ranking list. The question here is whether all of that is as necessary as Google made it sound like.
According to a spokeswoman of the company, the rapid changes in technology and users’ preference to use their phones while searching for stuff online brought this update, which is known as Mobilegeddon on the internet. Being an improvement in the algorithm and an update tool for more efficient searches, it was intended to create a revolution in the way people create and maintain their websites and it certainly became one. Many of high-ranked businesses opted for two sites for their products and services – one that would remain among the first on desktop computers and the other that would look good on smartphones – or found themselves fighting the high costs for the more frequent maintaining of their one site.
The Impact of Mobilegeddon
It is understandable that the biggest hit was felt by those on the highest ranking lists on Google. One day there they were up and visible to everyone typing their keywords in the search bar and the next day, they woke up to find their website down in the mobile searches. Why is that? It is very simple. The website failed Google’s mobile-friendly test and that means donning an invisibility cloak before the ones in need of information on their mobiles.
The shock to be even greater, the traffic rapidly decreased on most sites. For instance, a U2 fan site, which couldn’t get enough of visitors, out of the blue lost 43 “top three” search results in mobile ranking after April 21st.
To prove that Mobilegeddon and its effect were not overhyped, take a look at the research conducted by the website Koozai. According to them, the users from the USA, Canada, the UK and Australia consider this update as “unhelpful and incorrect” with more than 76% of the UK businesses stating that. As to the effects on mobile rankings, the USA lead with more than 40% of businesses that had experienced changes to rankings and a drop of at least three places on the search lists. All of this clearly supports the destructive appeal Mobilegeddon has on the online success of businesses, making their mobile appearance crucial. As sad as it sounds, the sales are no longer dependent on quality products and SEO-supportive keywords, but on the size of letters and the width of the website that fits the mobile screens better.
A few years back, everyone was optimistic that desktop search rankings and mobile ones will merge, but to the utmost surprise quite the opposite happened with Mobilegeddon. It deepened the gap between the desktop searches and the mobile searches more than ever, putting a crown on the mobile ones and throwing the desktop in the corner. However, this happened a while before the announcement of the update. Brightedge noted that mobile searches differed by 62% from the desktop ones in 2014 and when Mobilegeddon was launched a year later they jumped to 73% in just a few days. That’s a stunning proof of how Mobilegeddon did nothing to improve the situation, but instead, worsened it.
What Did We Learn From Mobilegeddon?
The first thing that this so-called mobile apocalypse showed us is that for some, it’s raining cats and dogs and for others it’s always sunny and warm. I don’t say that we should ignore the presence of mobiles in our lives and the urge to search something while outside and unable to get to a computer, but still the effect this update had on businesses turned out to be far greater than that.
On the other hand, the predictions of “the end of the desktop search world” came at the beginning of the year and businesses should have got ready to embrace it and optimize their websites for mobiles. After all, with this Google reminded us how important it is to spread your business continually and be there on every platform and every screen in our modern society. Although some shouted “Not fair” and some “It was about time” on April 21st, it is up to the business and its owner to choose whether to follow the trend and fight for a place among the highest rating companies on mobiles or mourn its fate and stare at the mobile screen without seeing the company’s name there.
Just remember that it’s all about the present and every action can be repaired as Google looks only at the present when calculating the rankings. If today your business got hit by Mobilegeddon, make it stand on it feet again tomorrow by bringing it on the mobile screens. Many agree that the update didn’t turn out as it was supposed to and businesses suffered the most from it, but that doesn’t mean that it’s the end. I mean, the literal end of the world.
We lived through this and who knows how much more updates we’ll encounter on the way towards online marketing and SEO perfection. However, one thing is for certain. This is only the beginning. After every apocalypse we face a new world that either meets our expectations or defies them, but we try again tomorrow. Let’s hope that Mobilegeddon will remain as one of the worst updates and one to which businesses will eventually find a solution to. Perhaps it will write history and will be taught at schools or perhaps it will remain just a topic a few friends will laugh about during lunch in a couple of years.
Etudiant en Master 2 Commerce Electronique, je m’intéresse particulièrement au community management Je gère une page facebook avec pour objectif de gagner 100 000 fans en un an avec un budget publicité de 60€/mois. Je travaille également pour Lionbridge en tant que Ads Quality Rater.