Did Mobilegeddon impact your Local SEO Efforts?

As manny of you know, April 21 is the day Google rolled out their mobile algorithm. Like all of their publicly disclosed updates it took on a life of its own in the SEO circles. All of us where speculating how much it would effect our clients’ SERPs. The updated was coined with the term “Mobilegeddon”

What is Mobilegeddon?

Roughly 60% of Google searches are done on a smart phone or tablet style device. Google’s goal is to provide users with the most relevant results based on the users search. Part of the users search includes the device being used to conduct the search. Google want to deliver mobile friendly sites to those users.

Also, take into consideration of the finical impact mobile search has to Google’s balance sheet. By the end of this year it is projected that 50% of all paid search clicks will be from mobile devices. Adwords is still Google’s #1 source of income.

“As Marin EVP Wister Walcott highlighted in his talk at Marketing Land Summit at SMX West last week, the company projects that mobile devices will account for 50 percent of all paid search clicks on Google in the United States by December 2015. Last year in the US, the share of paid search clicks from mobile devices rose from 21.8 percent in January to 34.2 percent in December. Paid search clicks from smartphones almost doubled throughout 2013.”
Source: Search Engine Land

Image Source: Marin Software

Now the SEO dust has settled.

We are rapidly approaching the 2 month mark since this update was rolled out. There have been some clear winners, losers and for some it didn’t make a difference. The winners are those that had a mobile site or responsive design in place long before this update was talked about. Why? Their sites had been optimized by their SEO agencies long before any of the hype. Their rankings where solid. These sites climbed some in the SERPs.

The losers are the people who had to scramble to get their sites “mobile ready”. Many of these companies lost rankings in desktop search results. This is because when optimizing their site, things had to be changed. These changes caused Google to look at their sites differently and in some cases caused their rankings to drop.
Typically these where small business that don’t have the resources, financially or knowledge, to update their site.

Ben Norman, CEO of Koozai had this to say:
Norman says that many business owners are frustrated, feeling like they’re experiencing a negative impact after acting on Google’s warnings. He says that speaks to how frequently SMBs fail to understand SEO and e-commerce analytics.
“Many consumers today will research on mobile and then purchase on desktop,” he says. “Many SMBs are missing out on these lead-creation opportunities if they don’t know if their e-commerce sites aren’t giving their potential customers a good experience on mobile.”
Source: Search Engine Watch

The role out had very little affect on major brand and large volume keyword searches. These search results for large brands is very stagnant. The same top 10 websites will dominate a brand search. The same can be said about large volume keywords. Think about the search term “insurance quote”. The search results for this is stagnant. Why? There is some much money to be made from these terms, that web masters have a teams of SEO professionals working not stop to keep their rankings. These teams are so big that would make many Denver SEO experts jealous with envy.

Most of 28 Circles clients did not see an impact from Mobilegeddon. We proactively work with our clients to make sure their sites where up to speed with Google’s mobile requirements. Some of clients did see some small bumps in the SERPs, but nothing to shocking.

Beside providing local SEO services to Denver small business, we run a small portfolio of sites that we monetize a couple of different ways. Two of our sites where on Google’s naughty list. Prior to Google’s notice, we had planned to have the sites redesigned sometime this year. Since, the update was coming up, we decided to leave them alone just to see what would happen. We love to test SEO things. Both sites held their desktop SERP for all main keywords. When it came to mobile search, well both sites went from page 1 to page 4,5 and 10 for their main keywords.

Roughly 60% of the traffic comes from organic searches to both of these sites. Since the rollout, we have seen a 17.5% decrease in traffic for these sites. The subject matter of these sites is more geared towards in-depth research, so most visitors, with a low bounce rate, come from desktop searches.

The bottom line, is mobile search is not going anywhere. If your site is not mobile friendly, you are losing spots in the search results. lost spots, means less traffic, which means fewer sales.