6 Lessons Learned from Google’s MobilegeddonMay 28, 2015 - 9 minutes read - Mobile-Friendly Website, SEO
Prior to the April 21st “Mobile Apocalypse” deadline, Mod Girl Marketing fielded many questions from concerned entrepreneurs who had heard scary reports that their website may be banished from search engines and all the progress they’d worked for over the years would be erased overnight. Some of their concerns were perpetuated by over-hyped SEO blog posts, predicting perpetual doom and gloom for businesses that failed to conform.
As seasoned SEO professionals dealing in Google algorithm changes for more than a decade, we know that a Google update is not usually the end of the world. Companies that relied on spammy “Black Hat SEO” tactics have been rocked by Google updates in the past, but the average company that focuses on responsive web design and quality content is unlikely to fall off the map entirely due to a couple algorithm tweaks.
That said, mobile optimization is crucial for sales conversions; now it’s prioritized for search ranking, too. Honestly, it seems like a long time coming. After all, who wouldn’t want the best-looking and easiest-to-use websites turning up first in search engines viewed on their mobile devices? As Google strives to make a better product for its users, we must adapt and invest in maintaining value in our websites. It’s not enough to create a website once and sit back on your laurels. Working with an experienced boutique marketing agency will help your business stay relevant in an ever-changing digital environment.
Here are a few of the lessons we’ve learned from the “Mobilegeddon” update:
1. The roll-out was more gradual than many people thought.
While April 21st was publicized as “the big deadline,” the actual roll-out of the new indexing system took some time. On May 1st, Google Analyst Gary Ilyes reported that the update was finally in full effect. He also stated that “there were a load of websites that became MF [mobile-friendly] recently” — about a 4.7% increase, in fact — so the actual impact was below what their own analysts predicted. It took another two weeks for re-indexing of recently updated sites, so one could say the final outcome of “Mobilegeddon” wasn’t truly visible until May 15th.
– Takeaway: Never feel rushed to act before you have your budget and strategy lined up.
Image Source: Imrcorp.com
2. Individual pages were hurt more than entire websites.
As UK technology specialists at Stickyeyes explain, a number of “mobile-friendly sites” were still affected by the update. “The most common examples of this were found in mid and long-tail keyword searches, where brands had created landing pages specifically to capitalize on a particular keyword string,” they said. Many mobile-optimized homepages still include links to non-optimized landing pages that have not been updated. In some cases, pages dropped from the #15 to #28 listing for key search terms. When a page falls off the first page of Google results, pain can be felt in terms of traffic and sales.
– Takeaway: Conduct a thorough analysis of your site and all its links when updating.
3. Even without a mobile site, you can still reach desktop users.
If you failed to have a mobile site up and running by the deadline, you can take comfort in knowing that people using desktop computers will still find your site. You’ll just be excluded from mobile searches. This comes as a big relief to companies that didn’t see value in going through all the trouble of a forced (and perhaps rushed) update. Businesses that rushed mobile site development have sometimes ended up with poor technical implementation and hastily redirected pages that Google has trouble indexing.
– Takeaway: If you’re going to do something, do it right the first time!
4. Working with a consultant to develop a sound strategy minimizes risk.
Unfortunately, some companies really killed themselves — having their IT department drop everything to work overtime on mobile optimization or digging into depleted savings accounts to find the funds to create a dedicated mobile site. No one likes to be caught off-guard, so it’s best to have a comprehensive digital marketing strategy that leaves a little bit of wiggle room for adaptation. Mod Girl Marketing is a valuable partner to have. Even if you don’t use our services on a daily or even monthly basis, we can keep you informed about the latest news coming down the pipelines and help you create a sustainable budget for tasks like SEO.
– Takeaway: Maintain a good working relationship with SEO and digital marketing experts.
Image Source: Blog.twmg.com
5. Mobile websites are not just a fad.
Mobile is a worthwhile goal, given the fact that at least a third of all web traffic comes from smartphones and other mobile devices. What once seemed like an extraneous expenditure (like investment in social media!) is now a crucial part of the digital marketing landscape. A mobile site offers your business many return-on-investment (ROI) opportunities a standard desktop-optimized site may not — for instance: click-to-call functionality, 24/7 access, faster loading times, and real-time location targeting. If you’re not convinced, check out Biznology’s run-down of mobile website ROI case studies to see how some companies have increased conversions by over 100% with mobile optimization. Google has a new tool that will help you calculate the exact ROI of your mobile efforts in 30 minutes.
– Takeaway: Mobile websites provide great returns on your investment.
6. Mobilegeddon is not the end of the world.
Despite the fear-mongering, the damage is not irreversible. Like Linkarati explains, the actual effects were minimal and the “apocalypse” itself was about as underwhelming as the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight. Your site won’t be blacklisted for years if you weren’t prepared to accommodate mobile traffic. Google rankings are largely based on present content and functionality, so you can easily get your rankings back just by optimizing your site now.
– Takeaway: It’s never too late to make improvements to your site.
Working With A Digital Marketing Consultancy
If your website is not performing as well as you’d like, let Mod Girl Marketing lend an expert’s eye to your digital marketing strategy. We work closely with partners to conduct market research that leads to tangible improvements in search engine positioning, traffic and sales conversions. Contact our team for a free assessment to see if we’re a good fit for your digital marketing needs.
Tags: Google, mobile apocalypse, mobile optimization, mobilegeddon, Search Engine Optimization, Seo, website optimization