Mobilegeddon’s impact slower than expected, but patterns are emerging in Australia
GOOGLE last week altered its search results based on how responsive a website was on a Smartphone. While the dust is yet to settle, we’ve analysed some of the early ranking changes among Australia’s largest companies.
The data comes from ROI.com.au’s mobile rank checking tool, which compares a website’s mobile and desktop ranking for the same keywords (Android devices).
The new algorithm was officially launched last Wednesday morning, and rankings began fluctuating within the first 24 hours.
It’s now almost a week since the deployment, and we are starting to see clear outcomes.
We’ve focused on ASX 200 companies, particularly those that deal directly with consumers.
Branded search was excluded as there was no impact and our research focused on changes relative to results in the top 10.
Internet provider TPG, Finance company IOOF and building materials giant Boral each ranked on the first page of Google before April 21. They have plummeted into obscurity since.
The homepages of each company are not Smartphone responsive, according to Google’s mobile friendly test.
Finance company IOOF.com.au last week ranked No.1 for “salary sacrifice calculator”. Now, you’ll have to search at least 10 pages to find it, mainly because the page has text that is too small to read.
Internet provider TPG.com.au has content that is too wide to fit mobile screens, the mobile viewport is not set and its links are too close together.
And that’s the reason it has fallen off the first page for search terms such as “cheap adsl” and “best internet deals”.
In total, TPG has lost ground on 32 similar keywords that are relevant to its industry.
Boral.com.au has the same problems as above, and it’s ranking has fallen off the first page for “paving stones”.
Topping the list of winners for overall gain in visibility is iiNet.
The Internet provider has climbed the rankings for the valuable search term “national broadband network”, moving from 17 to six.
The aged-care company Regis also received a Mobilegeddon boost. Google rewarded its ranking for 25 relevant keywords.
That included “aged care home”, which Regis now ranks on the first page for.
Another winner was credit reporting agency Veda.com.au. It had a rankings rise for 28 keywords.
More importantly, nine of those keyword rises took Veda to No.1 – including “check credit history” and “how to check credit history”.
What to do if you’ve been hit
Google will regularly update its mobile friendly data. So you’ll potentially regain lost visibility within a few days if you make your website mobile friendly.
See our Mobilegeddon page for more advice and tips.
“Google has a history of not slamming you straight away,” ROI.com.au director Ewan Watt said.
“They deliberately give businesses a fighting chance to adapt, at least for a couple weeks.
“After that, the algorithm will be in full swing. The impact is only going to get worse.”