Mobile Algorithm Change

Survey of over 20,000 URLs shows presence of Non-Mobile-Friendly on first 3 pages of Google US SERPs fading fast. Mobile algorithm change is the most wide-reaching since Secure Search.

In preparation for the April 21 mobile algorithm update, BrightEdge’s data science team designed a number of experiments to assess the impact of Google’s algorithm change.

The first changes took place on the 21st and are continuing to roll out. Although it’s impossible to determine when the rollout is complete, BrightEdge research shows that the updates have already significantly impacted the composition of mobile search results pages. This algorithm change can affect 100% of websites.

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Methodology

BrightEdge’s Data Science team created a representative sample of 750 keywords and utilized BrightEdge’s industry-leading mobile and daily- search tracking capabilities to monitor those keywords and their associated SERPs for changes. The 20,000+ URLs represented were then tested for mobile-friendliness using Google’s Mobile-Friendliness tool to classify each URL as mobile-friendly or not-mobile-friendly. These two data sets were analyzed together with rank to assess the impact of the update.

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How did this change impact the makeup of the first 3 pages of SERPs?

Our researchers determined that as of April 27 there was a 21% decrease in the number of non-mobile-friendly URLs on the first 3 pages of the SERPs compared to before the update. Versus the decrease seen on page 1 of 17.3%, a more pronounced impact was seen on the 2nd and 3rd SERP pages, which saw a 20.7% and 25.2% decrease, respectively, in non-mobile-friendly URLs. We hypothesize that because other ranking factors are weaker on the second and third pages of search results that the mobile-friendliness of a URL had a bigger impact on rank than it did on the first page.

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How was the change rolled out in the SERPs?

Based on the daily tracking of the 20,000+ URL set, BrightEdge determined that the updates rolled out to “above-the-fold” results first and then to lower results positions later on. In other words, Non-Mobile-Friendly URLs in positions 1-5 moved more in the first two days and positions 6-30 moved more after that. A proportionately smaller amount of changes were seen on pages 2 and 3 on April 22 and 23 with greater changes occurring between April 23 and 27.

How does the Google Mobile-Friendly tag relate to the mobile user interface score from the PageSpeed insights tool?

You may be interested in how the Google Mobile-Friendly checking tool relates to the API-based Mobile Page Speed Insights tool mobile User Experience score.

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BrightEdge plotted the 20,000 URLs’ unique Mobile User Experience score against their Friendly/Non-Friendly tag and found that a score of 80 made the result Friendly. In other words, keep working on your mobile optimizations until you achieve at least a score of 80 on this test, which will allow you to achieve the Mobile-Friendly tag.

BrightEdge customers were ready for the Google mobile algorithm update

Knowing how to optimize your site for mobile requires a deep understanding of the experience your site is creating today in order to make improvements for tomorrow.

Many brands are concerned about the impact of Google’s mobile algorithm update.

Meanwhile, BrightEdge customers have had technology in place for two years to help them understand their rank and the competitive landscape across 605 local, global and mobile search engines – equipping them to win in the competitive mobile battleground.

BrightEdge takes mobile search solutions beyond the webmaster and to the marketer with a comprehensive offering that helps brands understand their organic search and content performance by device.

The BrightEdge Mobile solution allows users to track and measure mobile device performance by:

  1. Tracking and reporting on keyword trends and rankings across device type (desktop, mobile, and tablet).
  2. Measuring actual rank by device in Universal Search with Blended Rank (image, video, social, quick answers, and local 3-pack).
  3. Providing visibility into local organic performance by keywords and keyword groups across cities.
  4. Understanding mobile readiness by providing marketers with a complete Mobile Site Audit.
  5. Optimizing and understand actual mobile performance based on a deep integration between BrightEdge and mobile analytics.
  6. Understanding the competitive organic landscape and Share of Voice for a brand across mobile devices.

The entire BrightEdge platform is mobile aware. Whether you are looking at actual business performance, rank, or competitive performance – mobile is integrated throughout the BrightEdge platform.

 BrightEdge Mobile Reports

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