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Louisa Osmond, Teaching Fellow

Faculty Blog

Mobilegeddon is the rather dramatic name for Google’s latest search algorithm update, which occurred in April. The new update favours mobile optimised websites in organic search rankings due to the fact that a rising proportion of searches now take place on mobile devices – according to Google a figure which surpassed 50 per cent at the back end of last year.

The first study into the implications of this change suggest that it will have far-reaching consequences for a number of brands, particularly those that rely on SEO to attract new customers and drive revenue. Searchmetrics research reveals that sites such as Reddit and Walmart suffered big falls in search visibility, whilst Newsweek and HitFix were big risers.

Ultimately sites that aren’t considered mobile friendly by Google will find themselves languishing in the search hinterland – page 2 and beyond.  There are over 200 different criteria as to what constitutes mobile friendly, however they include:

  • font sizes (small = bad, large = good)
  • Space between tap targets/links
  • Layout of content
  • Configuration of viewports (framed areas)

The easiest way to find out, however, is to run a website through Google’s handy mobile friendly checker.

Here’s some we did earlier for two of the UK’s most popular media sites. Paywall notwithstanding, this has implications for News International as The Telegraph’s stories will now rank higher than The Times’ which has implications for advertising rates. What other implications do you think this algorithm update might have on competitor businesses?

Not mobile-friendlymobile-friendly