Acquiring Traffic

Mobilegeddon for Franchises

Eli Robinson
Wednesday, May 06 2015

April 21st Mobilegeddon

For those of us tuned into the intricacies of internet marketing, April 2015 proved to be a very important month in terms of search engine optimization.

As you’ll recall SEO is all about how search engines (like Google and Bing) decide how to index the internet and display search results. As I’ve written before, the way that Google’s algorithm works has major implications for how visitors reach your website.

Until last month, the algorithm update that was always cited as causing the most disruption was the Google “Panda” update first released in February 2011. Back then, Google took a major step toward lowering the importance of websites that featured copious amounts of advertising instead featuring content heavy websites such as news websites and social networking sites.

Depending on what you were doing in February 2011, it’s possible that Google Panda is a four letter word around your office.


Well…Google is at it again.

This time they’ve taken a major stand in defending the search engine experience for users on a mobile device. Google is terming it their “mobile-friendly ranking update,” but some of us in the marketing world have come to label it Mobilegeddon, given its ability to cause havoc on SEO results.

So what is it?

Essentially Google has decided that it is going to be promoting websites that it deems mobile-friendly ahead of websites whose mobile experiences are sub-optimal. Take a look at this example.

Here’s what it looks like when I Google “Franchises for Sale” on my phone:

Mobile Google SERP for "Help Opening a Franchise"


You’re used to seeing search results that look like this, but did you notice the new additions:

Mobile Google SERP for "Help Opening a Franchise" with "Mobile-friendly" Highlighted


This is the new update. Google is telling you that your experience once you visit these websites is going to be optimized for your mobile experience. And they've gone ahead and taken the liberty of making sure that these are the top results because they know that it will make you happier.

Get your phone out and do a few Google searches. You’ll see that the top of the results are almost certain to be labeled "Mobile-friendly."


So what’s the big deal?

To give you an idea of how important anything that Google does, think about this. There are over 3.5 Billion searches done on Google every single day. That’s over 500,000 every second. It’s not that hard to imagine how even the smallest tweak in how they display search results can affect millions of people.

Now think that they rolled out this algorithm change across ALL of their mobile searches. And you guessed it….there are more mobile searches than desktop searches!

So, it’s a big deal.

In terms of how it affects your website, it really depends what side of the “mobile-friendly” equation you are on.

If your website in deemed mobile-friendly, then it’s a big deal because you likely saw a nice increase in Google organic traffic over the past few weeks that should be fairly sustainable over time. More visitors means more people interested in opening your franchise.

If your website is not mobile-friendly, then #Mobilegeddon has arrived and your organic search traffic has probably fallen off a cliff.


So what do I do about it?

Lucky for all of us, Google has made it very easy to know if your web pages are mobile friendly. So here’s what you do:

Step 1: Visit https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/mobile-friendly/

Step 2: Enter your homepage and a variety of other pages on your site

Step 3A: If your website is mobile-friendly, then there’s nothing to do. Enjoy your increased traffic.

Results of Google's Mobile Friendly Test for Lead Generation Resource Center


Step 3B: If your website is NOT mobile-friendly, then you need to work quickly to remediate any issues that Google finds. In some instances, this will be a very easy fix. In other cases, it may require a fairly significant overhaul.

Good luck solving and surviving Mobilegeddon. We’re always here if you need us, so drop us a note if you want to chat.