Was It Really “Mobilegeddon”?

Late last month, Google rolled out a new algorithm update that favored mobile-friendly sites. If your site is mobile-friendly, you’ve likely either a) seen no change in your organic rankings, or b) benefitted by slowly earning in organic rankings what your competitors may have lost (by not heeding an abundance of warnings about impending change). Though the update has not been as disastrous as its nickname might indicate (many website owners went mobile-friendly before it rolled out), it is a significant change for marketers and advertisers. At its heart, the algorithm update attempts to weed out sites that aren’t mobile-friendly from the top rankings, thereby mitigating their affect on the quality of Google’s mobile search results. It’s only a matter of time before this applies to AdWords as well.

While Mobilegeddon was the talk of the town for quite some time leading up to the April 21st roll out date, it took a little time for sources to verify the algorithm had fully rolled out (though some sites have not been re-indexed and therefore have not seen the impact). It certainly left many wondering how this would all affect paid search campaigns, though the consensus seems to be that the organic impact wasn’t too disastrous.

Quality Score

There’s no doubt that your landing page’s mobile-friendliness impacts your Quality Score [when you’re running ads on mobile]. This has been the case for years now – for mobile ads, of course, mobile-friendly pages always mattered (even though mobile landing pages have notoriously lagged in conversion rates). Now, the infamous “mobile-friendly” tag associated with this “Mobilegeddon” algorithm update has been spotted in AdWords ads, being tested in Canada. This means that your website’s mobile-friendliness could play into more than just your organic rankings – it could and will play into the success of your paid search campaigns. A Google representative said this was just a test and does not play into quality score, but inevitably there must be a “yet” following that statement.

Going Mobile

Google recently announced that there are officially more searches on mobile than desktop in “10 countries including the US and Japan.” The algorithm update is just the tip of the iceberg. Google is adapting to the way its billions of users are using the web.

We have seen updates to paid search recently that help advertisers target better on mobile – creative formats and cross-device conversion tracking capabilities for honing your strategy. Clearly, Google wants to help advertisers convert customers who are increasingly searching on the go. Keep adapting your digital strategy to mobile and be ready for what the future holds.

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