POP SEO Tip #27: Google Drops Rankings on Non-Mobile Friendly Websites

Google’s become a fan of taking serious action when necessary, and the search engine giant’s latest such move had a massive impact on businesses across the country (and around the world, truth be told). What happened? Tens of thousands of website owners woke up one morning to find that their sites had plummeted in the SERPs. In fact, Google dropped the rank for almost 50% of non-mobile friendly websites.

The update, termed “Mobilegeddon” was expected to be big. In fact, the company told everyone that it would have more impact than Panda or Penguin, two updates that caused serious changes to the SEO world a couple of years back. True to their word, Mobilegeddon was a game changer, despite some claims that it was a non-event.

In short, 46% of non-mobile friendly websites plummeted in the rankings. In comparison, 25.4% of mobile-friendly sites were downgraded. The increase in rankings for mobile-friendly pages was a relatively modest 30.1%. One of several factors impacting the perceived significance was that the rollout was done slowly, with a quality update in between two segments of Mobilegeddon. This made the results less immediate.

Another factor here is that Google’s not quite done. It’s normal for Google to roll things out slowly and test their impact. Once they’re sure that everything is performing the way they want it, the full update rolls out and changes take place immediately. It’s very possible that Google hasn’t yet released the full Mobilegeddon update into the wild.

What’s the takeaway for business owners? If you’re not already mobile friendly, get there now. If you were affected by the initial release, optimizing your site for mobile will help you regain some of your lost traction. If you haven’t been affected yet, it’s only a matter of time.