The Mobile Friendly Update that rolled out April of 2015 was not known as such for very long. In fact it was quickly dubbed #Mobilegeddon and was probably the most hyped update of 2015. The update’s original name leaves very little to the imagination; it looked to give websites that were mobile friendly a positive boost in mobile specific searches and conversely, demote those that were not mobile friendly. The reason it was so feared was because of the amount of websites at the time that had either a poor user experience on mobile devices or lacked a mobile friendly website altogether.
Considering the amount of press surrounding this update, it ended up being particularly underwhelming. Admittedly this may be because our website was already mobile friendly and as such we had very little to worry about, but with tools like Google’s Mobile Friendly Test it really was a very simple decision. Either make your website mobile friendly or don’t and suffer the consequences.
It represented a change in behaviour
Yes the update didn’t have as wide an impact as we expected, especially considering the #mobilegeddon #nickname but it did represent a significant change. Give or take a few months this was the time when overall time spent on mobile devices overtook desktops for the first time. It was no coincidence then that this update was rolled out at the time. Believe it or not, the guys in white coats (or more likely, hoodies and flip flops) at Google have their finger on the pulse of how we use technology. Since then the use of our mobile devices has continued to grow and Google have continued to push webmasters to be as mobile friendly as possible.
It was not a one-time deal
No longer does mobile friendly simply mean having a responsive website. There are a multitude of methods by which websites can gain a competitive advantage over those that are still focussed on desktop, including Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP), adaptive websites, apps / progressive web apps, PWA, mobile specific schema and indeed Google’s mobile first indexing. The trend is not going to stop so we would strongly advise taking it seriously. Mobilegeddon may not have been the bloodbath that many expected but rest assured that 2015 was merely the crossing of the Rubicon. Web designers are already designing websites ‘mobile first’ and the considerations needed by SEOs to be mobile friendly already go far past just having a website that displays correctly on mobile devices. Regardless of the direct impact of the Mobile Friendly Update and it’s subsequent boost in 2016, it represented the first of may forays into improving search results for mobile users.