As you probably know, Google announced back in February that their algorithm would soon favor mobile friendly websites in search queries performed on mobile devices. Website owners all over the world have been busy making their websites mobile friendly in fear of what has been nicknamed the “mobilegeddon”.
At s360, we have set out to examine how important it really is to make your website mobile friendly. We have followed mobilegeddon closely and monitored the difference in mobile traffic to our customers websites.
We have looked at the data from a total of 60 websites, half of which are mobile friendly, while the other half is not.
We have looked at the number of visitors from Google’s organic search results for each site, and from this calculated an average number of visitors per day.
As the websites various in the number of visitors, we have normalized the data before calculating the average. This way we avoid that a few large sites skew the data.
All data has been gathered from Google Analytics.
The chart below shows the trend four weeks after April 21st. The black line marks the date for the mobile update.
We have used data from the 10 weeks prior to the update as an index and every point on the x-axis represents one week, compared to the average for the whole 10 weeks. A positive number indicates that the number of visitors is higher than the average for those 10 weeks.
Four weeks after the update, mobile traffic to mobile-friendly websites has increased by 38% compared to the 10 weeks prior to the mobile update. In other words, the graph shows clearly that mobile-friendly websites have received more traffic from mobile searches – exactly as expected.
The non-mobile friendly websites are actually about the same level as before and this may seem a little odd. If one assumes that the number of visitors on average should increase from week to week, then the mobile-friendly websites may actually have “lost” traffic, even though their amount of traffic is unchanged. However, we must remember that we still only have data for four weeks.
When looking at the difference in traffic between mobile-friendly and non-mobile friendly websites our data indicates that mobile friendly websites have gotten 32% more organic mobile traffic than non-mobile friendly websites.
Although our research shows a clear trend, it is important to bear in mind that this survey is based on a relatively limited amount of data (total of 60 Danish websites). As we gather more data, we get a more accurate picture of how the mobile update affects various websites.
What have other experienced?
Marcus Tober from SearchMetrics announced that they could see significant changes in the visibility of many websites, and he believes that the update will result in both big winners and losers.
At Moz they also followed the update closely, and observed minor fluctuations just around April 21st, but according to Peter J. Meyers it was “nothing to write home about”.
Barry Schwartz from Search Engine Roundtable, asked the readers if they had noticed any changes and only 11% responded that they had.
According to Google the update has been fully implemented, and therefore it is not certain we will see a greater impact than what has already been observed. However, Garry Illyés from Google indicates on Twitter, that we may not have seen the last of the mobile update, as Google probably will continue to adjust their algorithm.