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Post-Mobilegeddon: Success in Google's New Landscape

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Everyone's been in a frenzy over Mobilegeddon, Google's new search engine algorithm that favors mobile-friendly websites.

With 60% of all online traffic coming from mobile devices, this update makes a lot of sense for consumers. For details of the change, and how businesses ought to respond, click here.

It was an important move by Google, and a statement of mobile's significance in the enterprise. But how have businesses actually been affected since the update?

What happened during Mobilegeddon?

Basically, Mobilegeddon made it so that mobile-friendly websites would start ranking higher than those that aren't mobile-friendly, regardless of how they would normally perform on desktop searches.

In the few weeks since Mobilegeddon launched on April 21st, 2015, 3 basic categories have emerged: significant increase in online visibility; minimal increase; and significant decrease.

Related: Mobile Mary: The Complete Guide for Marketing to Millennials

While many businesses have been punished with double digit percentage losses in their online visibility, many others have been rewarded with double digit percentage increases. Several have received hundreds and even thousands of percentage increases in their online visibility.

Why did it happen?

There are many reasons for an increase or decrease in online visibility. A business' SEO (search engine optimization) is effectively graded on a curve, meaning that a particular business' online visibility partially depends on the SEO ranking of its competitors for any particular search.

You may earn an 'A' or an 'F,' but if everyone else earns the same grade, no one stands out. Similarly, a business' SEO, according to the mobile-friendly update, is partially dictated by how mobile-friendly everyone else in that industry is.

Related: How Much Time Do People Spend on Their Mobile Phones in 2018?

The algorithm update essentially grades your website on a curve of all the other contextually similar websites, with a stronger focus on functionality for mobile devices.

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Colin Guidi, Director of SEO at 3Q Digital, the leading online growth partner for innovative companies, was reported as saying,

"You can't simply flip the switch on a website. Allowing a desktop site to become responsive to various media queries and screen sizes does not at all guarantee a mobile-friendly site... we're [still] seeing sites who have NOT been denoted as mobile-friendly outrank those that are."

What else is important to SEO?

Guidi continued that page speed and load times appear to affect results more than the updates made to the SEO algorithm.

"Responsive sites that fall into this bucket of being friendly but still outranked by non-mobile-friendly sites should take a look at their TTFB (Time To First Byte)."

Additionally, all webmasters should check their site(s) with Google's mobile-friendly test, if they have not already done so.

Mobilegeddon Winners and Losers

SearchMetrics provided us with a quick list of winners and losers from the update. Follow-up measures will need to be taken, as these numbers come only a few days after the update.

Among the more notable losers was Reddit.com, with a 27% decrease in total online visibility. NBCSports.com lost 28% of their overall visibility.

SongLyrics.com (-26%), YoungMoney.com (-76%), Tennis.com (-37%), HuffingtonPost.co.uk (-74%), Google.org, ironically (-30%), and WalmartStores.com (-31%) are other big players who took significant losses.

Among the more notable winners were GQ.com, with a 67% total increase in online visibility, and ParentPreviews.com, who had a 569% total increase in visibility.

Importance of Mobile for Business

Basically, Mobilegeddon is a giant sign to businesses to better engage consumers through mobile platforms.

Google changed their algorithm, because all the stats and trends show that consumers prefer mobile, and are migrating to mobile more and more. That's where the majority of consumers spend the majority of their time.

To engage your audience, meet them where they are, and make it easier for them to interact with you. It's time to take mobile seriously.

Related: Where Does Mobile Fit in the Customer Buying Journey?