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Seeing The Impact Of Google’s Mobile Update

Apr 28, 2015

It’s been a full week since the roll-out of Google’s mobile-friendly algorithm update, aptly nicknamed “Mobilegeddon”. The update was expected to have a tremendous impact on search results, greater than both Penguin and Panda, potentially affecting over 40% of Fortune 500 company websites.

When Fortune 500 companies are feeling it, you can absolutely expect small business websites are too. Small business owners sometimes aren’t as up to date on technology news or they simply can’t afford the cost to meet the new requirements. Check out some of the early winners and losers from the SEO Search Metrics Blog. Huge sites like reddit.com and nbcsports.com have seen drops in mobile visibility by almost 30%.

For anyone who is a little late to the party, the April 21st Google algorithm update targeted mobile search results, essentially dropping non-mobile friendly websites out of the mobile results. There was no way to avoid being hit by the update other than to ensure your website was mobile-friendly and responsive. Note that this algorithm update only affects mobile search results, not desktop.

How To Tell If You’ve Been Hit

Other than a steady declining trend in your website traffic and phone calls since April 21st, there are some data points you should look closely at when measuring your mobile traffic to identify how the mobile update has affected your site. Using Google Analytics, you can see information about your site’s performance, how people get to your site and what they’re doing once they get there.

Using Google Analytics’ Audience Reports, we can see a break down of mobile traffic to the site. To keep things basic, we’ll just look at mobile data in the Mobile Traffic Overview Report:

Google Analytics Mobile Reporting

Open up that report to see traffic data from desktop sources, mobile sources, and tablet sources. To identify if you’ve been hit by the update, select your date range as April 21 to the current date (in this case April 26) and compare it to the previous period and key in on your mobile numbers. Look for large percentage declines or increases. If there hasn’t been much change in either direction, you’ll need to give your Analytics more time to come up with a definitive trend. A mobile-friendly, responsive web site should see a positive trend (or at least not a negative one), like one of our local e-commerce clients, shown below:

Improvements After Google Mobile Update

Google Webmaster Tools Mobile-Friendly Reports

If you’re not seeing much data in those reports, Google has given us an easy way to check if your site is mobile-friendly. The test simply analyzes your URL and checks for overall friendliness. Simply type in your domain name and press analyze.

Google Mobile Friendly Test

If your page is not mobile friendly, the tool will give you a checklist of what needs to be changed.

You can also look in your site’s Webmaster Tools Mobile Usability Report to find what else needs to be updated to meet Google’s mobile friendly requirements. A non-responsive website may have similar issues to this report from Google Webmaster Tools:

Mobile Usability Issues

What You Can Do

If your phones have suddenly stopped ringing and now your Analytics confirms your fears of a mobile update penalty, it is time to update your website. The only way to regain your mobile rankings is to have a mobile friendly website.

Updating your website does not have to be a total redesign (although sometimes that is appropriate). If you have a talented coder or developer on your staff, put them to work! Go through the checklists provided by Google Webmaster Tools and make sure that each piece of the mobile-friendly checklist is completed.

If you don’t have that savvy staff member, Digico’s team of developers and web designers can rework your site’s structure, navigation, and mobile elements. This will ensure that every page of your site shows perfectly, is easy to use and navigate, and is responsive on every size of mobile device. We’ll make sure that every aspect of a mobile friendly, responsive design is available to your users.

Mobile Design Consultation in Charleston, SC

If your site is not up to the new mobile-standard, call Digico for a mobile design consultation. We’ll make sure that your site is mobile-friendly and responsive, to keep your mobile rankings up and your customers clicking. Give the team at Digico a call today at (843)580-5059 to talk about how we can make mobile happen at a price that works for your business. View other mobile friendly sites created or updated by Digico on our website design portfolio page.

Don’t lose potential profits by missing out on mobile leads. Let us help you take advantage of the mobile update and keep your online business running smoothly.