An Adobe Systems report reveals what the Internet is like after Google's "Mobilegeddon," a term given by web developers and webmasters to the search giant's April 21 update, which gave priority to mobile-friendly websites.
The "Adobe Digital Index" monitored traffic on 5,000 websites and divided these websites in two categories: non-mobile friendly and mobile-friendly. Before Mobilegeddon, Google announced it would favor websites that looked good on smaller screens, such as a smartphone or tablet display; separated links for easy tapping; and used larger texts.
The report found that traffic to the non-mobile-friendly websites fell 12 percent since April 21. During the Memorial Day weekend, for instance, more people used portable devices instead of PCs to conduct searches.
Adobe analyst Tamara Gaffney says many websites have made changes following the "Mobilegeddon" update to stay visible in Google search results.
Mobilegeddon also benefited Google, as manifest in the company's second quarter financial results. Websites that received less organic traffic were buying more mobile-search ads from Google.
Gaffney explains that websites that lost traffic paid Google to make them visible on mobile search results.
Stone Temple Consulting, a digital marketing agency, studied over 50,000 websites for a month. It followed Mobilegeddon and discovered that non-mobile-friendly websites also fell in Google search rankings. On the other hand, mobile-friendly websites gained in Google search rankings.
"The non-mobile friendly pages got whacked, but there was definitely a delay," said Eric Enge, CEO of Stone Temple Consulting.
The search ad structure of Google places ads that are based on keyword auctions. A company or individual gets a keyword based on bidding; the highest bidder, of course, wins. However, Google also evaluates the quality of websites where the ads take users. The latest Mobilegeddon also added mobile-friendliness to the quality measure the company analyzes.
Dave Ragals, global managing director of IgnitionOne, a digital marketing company, says advertisers who were devoted to making worthy mobile websites actually won additional search ad bids and got more clicks.
Larger companies are capable enough to keep up with the changes. However, smaller companies have struggled to ensure that their websites are mobile-friendly.