When Google announced last year that it would start flagging up mobile friendly websites in its search results it was a landmark for how seriously the search giant was taking the issue. Whilst corporate designers and developers have been creating mobile-first websites for some time, this was potentially a wake up call to every webmaster in the world.</DramaticIntro>
Then in February they gave us all a deadline, at 54 days notice, by which we should all comply with mobile ready guidelines – 21st April 2015. Google said any sites that were not mobile-friendly by this date would see “…significant impact in our search results.”
Today is the day that the mobile friendly algorithm change comes into play and I’ve actually been quite surprised by how much high level coverage this story has been given. I called this change in ranking signal a “big deal” myself and even went as far as calling it a “gamechanger” but I have been genuinely bowled over by the breadth and depth of coverage in the past 24 hours.
The usual suspects reporting on this in the mainstream media include the BBC, Sky News, The Guardian and The Telegraph for starters. I’ve even seen USA Today, CBS and Business Insider cover it too. I am waiting to see when The Daily Mail give this story an credence.
And then there’s the populist moniker – Mobilegeddon. It has been bandied around by the mainstream in the past 24 hours after being coined by, most probably, Barry Schwartz over at Search Engine Land back on the day of the first Google announcement.
But rather than favour big brands whom I suspected had the will, the wage and the workers to be able to pull off a mobile-friendly design some months ago, it appears that there will still be some organisations that are going to be caught with their pants down!
According to mobile marketing company Somo, who simply ran Google’s own Mobile-friendly test tool against the Top 250 Mobile Audit list, from the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) a number of big hitters failed the test.
According to Somo’s own results, brands such as Nintendo, Channel 4, Legal and General and, oh look, The Daily Mail, are still NOT mobile ready. And that was only a week ago.
So let’s see how today pans out and we’ll see what fallout there is from Mobilegeddon. I expect this to be a mixed bag with some big winners and some big losers, but only the data coming in from the wild will tell…
UPDATE: 22nd April, 21:30 GMT
The team over at Moz have been running this service called Mozcast (a portmanteau of Moz and forecast) where they monitor any turbulence in rankings over the previous 24 hour period. The results are portrayed as weather, with the greatest changes represented as hot & stormy. The summary, just one day after “Mobilgeddon”, is that there is nothing as armageddon-like as this was expected to be. Bit of a damp squib really but then it is early days.