April 22, 2015 – Google started the roll out of their Mobile-Friendly update, nicknamed “Mobilegeddon”. This algorithm rolled out globally over a few days (up to a week).
The purpose of this update was to favour mobile-friendly websites in searches on mobile devices. It makes sense doesn’t it? If someone is searching Google on their mobile phone, they’ll want a site returned that looks good on that mobile phone.
You can check if your site is mobile friendly, using Google’s mobile-friendly testing tool, or do a search on your mobile phone and see if your site has the mobile-friendly badge:
You can see the mobile-friendly text highlighted in the screenshot above.
In the run-up to this release, I made sure I had converted all of my important sites over to WordPress, but I left one site, just for testing.
It is still early days, with the update less than a month ago, but I decided to have a quick check to see if Mobilegeddon affected my test site. Did traffic drop after this update, and if so, by how much?
Today is the 18th May, and I’ll assume the update finished around the 28th April. That means I only have about 20 days of data to check since the update, and it is on a single site only, so it’s not very scientific. However, that is where you may like to help out. You can do a similar check on a non-mobile-friendly site of your own and report back your findings in the comment section below. It could be interesting to pool the results.
I have picked a 20 day period at the same time of the month in both before and after, to try to make the data as comparable as possible.
In the 20 day period from 29th March – 17th April:
- 5416 users, which equates to 271 per day.
- 85 percent of these users were on desktop computers, with 13.6% on mobile devices.
In the 20 day period from 28th April – 17th May:
- 6084 users, which equates to 304 per day.
- 86 percent of users were on desktop, while 12% were on mobile devices.
So, results are in, and no conclusions can really be drawn from this other than no “mobilegeddon” here.
It was always going to be difficult to draw conclusions from a single site, but this is just too close to even guess, though first impressions might indicate traffic is actually up, with little change in the mobile to non-mobile user ration.
I could have made this experiment so much better if only I had….
.. chosen a site that had a higher percentage of mobile visitors to begin with.
Most of my sites have 40% plus mobile visitors. The site above is an exception to this high percentage of mobile visitors. However, most of my sites that had 40%+ mobile visitors were far more important to me than this one. That is why they were all converted to WordPress before the sky fell in.
One more interesting experiment might be to look at the ratio of mobile to non-mobile visitors to some of my other sites, before and after the algorithm update. Since they are all mobile-friendly, they should have seen an increase in mobile users as they started to rank higher against the non-mobile competition. Let’s look at a couple of sites, using the same time period as shown above:
Site #1 – percentage of mobile visitors:
Before – 45%
After – 40%
Site #2 – percentage of mobile visitors:
Before – 49%
After – 50%
Site #3 – percentage of mobile visitors:
Before – 42%
After – 45%
Once again, these figures don’t show any startling change like I would expect if the algorithm update had wreaked as much havoc as many were expecting.
Just how much of an effect did Mobilegeddon have?
If you want to join this experiment, check your non-mobile websites for the dates shown in this experiment, and post them in the comments.