Surviving Mobilegeddon


MobilegeddonThe way people have been talking about Mobilegeddon these past few weeks (and based on the name), you’d think it was the end of the free world.

It’s not.

However, if you (or your client) have a website that isn’t mobile-friendly, you may feel a bit of a pinch from Google’s latest algorithmic adjustment.

So, in this edition of Tech Corner, we’ll navigate through the rubble of Mobilegeddon, and hopefully de-technicalize it for you in the process.

4.21.15: Enter Mobilegeddon

Mobilegeddon refers to fact that as of April 21, 2015, non-mobile-friendly web pages are downgraded in the Google search results on mobile devices (specifically, smartphones). And mobile-friendly web pages are given a boost in smartphone search results, and may appear more prominently.

Google has stated that this change will have “no effect on searches from tablets or desktop.” So, this whole Mobilegeddon only comes in to play if you’re searching on Google from your smartphone.

If you have a client with a business that is often accessed via a smartphone, Mobilegeddon may have more of an impact. While 50% of all searches on Google are now mobile searches, some sites have high mobile usage, and others do not. But keep in mind that nearly two-thirds of all U.S. adults own a smartphone now, according to Pew Research. And a Search Engine Watch survey found that 72% of executives use their smartphone to research services and products for their business. So, updating your site (or helping your clients to update theirs) for mobile-friendliness should probably be on the to-do list.

One thing to note is that Mobilegeddon is a page-level change, not a site-level change; even if your site is mostly not mobile-friendly, any pages you have that are mobile-friendly won’t be affected. And, rankings can change under the new algorithm. Any downgrade is not a permanent penalty. Once a site or page has been made mobile-friendly, Google will recognize the change and adjust how the page is positioned in the search results.

It All Comes Down to This

What this change really boils down to (and for that matter, almost all of Google’s other changes) is that Google is in business to make money. To make money, Google needs happy customers. Happy customers don’t like text they can’t read, and links they can’t click when searching Google from their phones.

Google doesn’t want to include a site in its search results on a smartphone, if it knows the site will be hard for its customers to use. That’s just good business.

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Jim Wright

Jim is a writer, teacher, consultant, and an advocate for clarity in communication. He helps clients make sense of their online presence, and translates tech-speak into plain English.


  • Thank you for this important information Jim. Now I know what all the fuss is about being mobile friendly.
    And how to fix my own site.

    • Hi Barbara,

      Thanks for the comment … glad you found it useful!

      So much to keep up with! 🙂

      Cheers and thanks again,


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