Trends on Tuesday: The Impact of ‘Mobilegeddon’ on Non Mobile-Friendly Sites

Aug 11, 2015
Spread of organic search visits by mobile friendliness from April 21, 2015 to June 29, 2015. Highlights Organic traffic up to 10% lower among sites with low mobile engagement.

Adobe released its quarterly Adobe Digital Index report this month, which showed websites that aren’t mobile optimized are seeing more than double-digit drops in traffic from Google’s organic search referrals.

This is after the leading search engine announced it would start penalizing websites, after April 21st, that weren’t optimized for mobile—also called “Mobilegeddon.” Microsoft’s Bing search engine also made a similar announcement, indicating that mobile-optimized sites would receive special benefits in its search results.

The report from Adobe showed the impact was especially pronounced on days when people are away from their computers and mobile usage is high—Memorial Day was listed as the biggest day for reduced traffic, pushing well beyond a 10% loss.

This trend of adults becoming mobile-first, or mobile-majority users, is only going to continue, so the traffic losses will continue to grow for sites penalized for not being mobile-optimized.

In the report, Tamara Gaffney, principal for the Adobe Digital Index said, “While there wasn’t a precipitous drop among non-friendly sites, the effect is pronounced over the 10 weeks after the event. Such continued loss of traffic suggests that immediate emphasis would have been placed on paid search as a quick way to recover traffic. But that strategy is not necessarily sustainable.”

For government agencies who don’t buy search traffic, the only sustainable model is to immediately get your sites mobile-friendly and follow the mobile search improvement tips provided by DigitalGov Search in this article.

If your agency needs help or wants to learn more about the trends shaping the future of mobile, please subscribe to the MobileGov Community of Practice and check out the mobile resources and Trends on Tuesday posts on DigitalGov to read more resources on how to prepare for the process.