Google Mobile Update/ Mobilegeddon: Winners and Losers US

April 25th, 2015 | Analysis 141 comments

Mobilegeddon is here. We have fresh data in the software and now there are some significant changes visible in the data. Although Google communicated that the rollout would probably last a week or more, we can see some winners and losers already. These first results may be (yet) considered as preliminary when it comes to some examples, but definately, there is a clear trend emerging.

Winner-Loser: Google Mobile Update - under construction

Please note: The Mobile SEO Visibility is a KPI intended to measure Visibility differences between Mobile and Desktop performance based on identical search volume calculations. The observations refer to the change of SEO Visibility of domains regarding the last two data points. The actual impact on a domain’s traffic will be specifically different.

The data has been freshly retrieved and is already available in the Searchmetrics Suite. Since the rollout of the Google Mobile Update is to take place over several days, this is a preliminary analysis based on data from today.

Searchmetrics Suite customers are able to analyze their own domains as well as every other domain for Desktop and Mobile performance here http://suite.searchmetrics.com/en/research/domains/organic/mobile.

If you don’t have access to our Searchmetrics Suite, request a demo today. We are aggregating all data historically, so don’t worry. We have the data anyway and are also able to show your Mobile SEO Visibility performance in a week. Here is the Request a demo form:

Request Suite Demo

Already Earlier Impacts Visible

We see a very interesting phenomenon in the US. Believe it or not, I think Mobilegeddon began rolling out in the US last week. We see the same pattern of massive winners and losers with the data from last week.

This is very interesting because obviously, everybody was focused on April 21st and compared it to last week. The fresh data shows some ongoing downtrends of several losers from last week’s data.

So if you want to check the current data in the Software on your own, you can do it here:

Mobile Winners / Losers – Searchmetrics Suite

According to Google, the rollout of the mobile-friendly update began globally in the early morning of April 21st – and from now on the mobile user-friendliness of websites is a global ranking signal. The update impacts mobile search queries only – not desktop. And for these mobile SERPs we have determined the winners and losers of the update for US domains.

Analysis: Winners & Losers – Google Mobile Update

We have now determined the winners and losers of the Google Mobile Update in a first quick analysis. I included the top 50 of each list in the blog. This time, we are also making them available for download as a PDF.

Mobile-Friendly Based on URLs not on Domain Level

The mobile-friendly classification by Google is done URL-by-URL, not on a domain level. Nevertheless, the Google mobile-friendly Test only provides an evaluation of the respective homepage of a domain. To make a valid statement, whether – and to what extent – a domain is optimized for mobile, you have to relate the number of mobile-friendly URLs of the domain (if there are any) to the respective number of non-mobile-friendly URLs of this domain (if there are any). It is only then that you are able to draw a more reliable conclusion for a connection of mobile-friendliness and update impact than just looking at the output of the Google Tool.

We are currently executing these calculations and will update the data as soon as we have the results.

Preliminary Losers of the Mobile Update

Here is a list of Mobilegeddon losers based on our current data set. Please consider the results provisional given the fact that the update is not supposed to be finished yet. We also considered the trend of Desktop Visibility in the calculation of the following lists in order to filter developments probably not related to Mobilegeddon.

This is why the data here (and the PDF) varies from the data in our software which is based merely on Mobile Visibility trend.

Important is to take the “Ratio Mobile vs Desktop” into account. It shows the difference between the performance in Desktop rankings and Mobile rankings. The lower the ratio, the worse is this domain ranking in Mobile compared to Desktop. These domains are the losers of the Mobilegeddon update.

Domain Mobile SEO Visibility actual loss in percent Ratio Mobile vs Desktop
reddit.com 874108 -27% -36%
nbcsports.com 139213 -28% -40%
songlyrics.com 111042 -26% -47%
youngmoney.com 10602 -76% -77%
fool.com 78599 -27% -49%
isitdownrightnow.com 83067 -25% -49%
tested.com 3243 -89% -18%
sidereel.com 88851 -22% -44%
census.gov 71234 -23% -53%
onlinecreditcenter2.com 33026 -38% -39%
odir.us 75586 -21% -15%
boxofficemojo.com 39951 -33% -64%
schoolloop.com 50046 -27% -50%
interviewmagazine.com 42280 -31% -32%
locatetv.com 65460 -21% -53%
fnfismd.com 54730 -23% -30%
etymonline.com 25169 -39% -77%
reviewjournal.com 22769 -41% -40%
thinkexist.com 15514 -49% -68%
sciencedaily.com 45017 -23% -45%
majorgeeks.com 40374 -24% -53%
movie25.ag 16324 -44% -43%
thefind.com 2448 -84% -49%
megashare.sc 48082 -20% -64%
walmartstores.com 27157 -31% -31%
thefiscaltimes.com 4940 -71% -81%
brassring.com 38315 -24% -46%
google.es 5830 -67% -26%
epguides.com 32037 -27% -53%
krebsonsecurity.com 10451 -52% -42%
sheppardsoftware.com 39140 -22% -55%
upworthy.com 17146 -38% -26%
jobs.net 34174 -23% -31%
apples4theteacher.com 30268 -25% -34%
mmo-champion.com 2948 -78% -77%
webcrawler.com 36291 -21% -36%
moreofit.com 35610 -21% -46%
hid.im 14776 -40% -43%
webs.com 9237 -51% -54%
ft.com 27984 -25% -42%
paroles-musique.com 15220 -37% -62%
jcpportraits.com 14936 -37% -32%
lottostrategies.co 2717 -76% -63%
searchbug.com 8885 -49% -17%
usps.gov 33186 -20% -25%
ondvdreleases.com 4058 -68% -17%
barchart.com 10435 -44% -55%
genealogybank.com 26451 -24% -53%
sketchup.com 18633 -30% -19%
zeropaid.com 2550 -76% -74%
edx.org 13439 -37% -30%

.

Preliminary Winners of the Mobile Update

Here too, we have the Ratio Mobile vs Desktop. The higher the ratio the better is this domain ranking in Mobile than in Desktop. These domains are the real winners of the Mobilegeddon update.

Now, here is the list of the today’s winners:

Domain Mobile SEO Visibility actual gain in percent Ratio Mobile vs Desktop
tvtropes.org 290528 420% 23%
foreignaffairs.com 153528 771% 37%
gq.com 178364 67% 19%
w3snoop.com 104573 91% 108%
knowyourmeme.com 153154 32% 13%
bandcamp.com 272302 13% 12%
fbschedules.com 133754 31% 11%
washingtontimes.com 173354 21% 12%
ipaddress.com 89830 51% 71%
imgur.com 118307 32% 24%
free-tv-video-online.info 71972 65% 38%
quora.com 251746 13% 28%
lyricsmania.com 229221 14% 12%
foreignpolicy.com 56583 83% 18%
wtvr.com 43562 124% 67%
sports-reference.com 58155 65% 10%
refinery29.com 100977 29% 19%
macmillandictionary.com 150033 17% 12%
hitfix.com 75004 42% 28%
zacks.com 87375 33% 14%
motherjones.com 200106 12% 14%
dslreports.com 82131 32% 28%
allposters.com 67786 39% 11%
rt.com 89352 26% 10%
easycounter.com 38134 87% 15%
change.org 89739 23% 11%
newrepublic.com 129003 15% 15%
boostmobile.com 54172 40% 11%
stream-tv1.net 18126 548% 151%
newsweek.com 110915 16% 17%
iconosquare.com 93694 19% 31%
watch-series-tv.to 65776 28% 13%
websta.me 112232 14% 23%
800-numbers.net 76397 22% 23%
hypestat.com 30643 81% 172%
pcgamer.com 77815 21% 24%
nybooks.com 95426 16% 20%
advanceautoparts.com 90342 17% 25%
radio.com 53584 32% 11%
newmexicocriminallaw.com 13363 4012% 30%
mp3skull.to 35886 56% 143%
religionfacts.com 24257 107% 24%
thinkprogress.org 64598 22% 20%
wikimedia.org 92805 15% 28%
microcenter.com 41385 39% 13%
kochdavis.com 14444 408% 181%
mixcloud.com 32295 56% 89%
topix.com 114888 11% 12%
fox2now.com 35422 42% 23%
kcci.com 24271 75% 64%
grist.org 20662 100% 30%
stemfireandems.com 10752 2072% 49%
shazam.com 30850 45% 103%
eurogamer.net 45327 26% 49%

.

Complete Winner/Loser Lists as a PDF Download

Because the complete lists contain about 250 domains each, I’m providing you with the entire data set as a PDF. There is even some more information in the lists. You can download the PDF here:

Google Mobile Update – Winners and Losers (PDF)

Intermingled Data: Some Examples

A deeper look at a few examples shows that some changes may not be just due to the update. This becomes clear when you compare the Historical Mobile Visibility of some domains with their Historical Desktop performance. Sometimes, both are increasing/decreasing at the same time.

In these cases, there may be another reason for the current developments. But when the Mobile Visibility develops independently, and there are not the same changes visible to Desktop, it is highly probable to be update related.

An Eye on the Losers – Noticable Pattern

dict.cc looks like a clear loser to me. According to the Google Tool, the page is not optimized for mobile. The Mobile SEO Visibility already dropped last week while the Desktop Visibility is increasing slightly:

Searchmetrics Suite - Mobile Visibility: dict.cc

Same with last.fm (huge drop regarding the last two data points) and boxofficemojo.com. According to Google, both of the homepages are not optimized for Mobile either (see here and here) and their fate looks very similar to the one above:

Searchmetrics Suite - Mobile Visibility: last.fm  Searchmetrics Suite - Mobile Visibility: boxofficemojo.com

 

I don’t know what you think, but this looks like a clear pattern to me. Two more examples? Here you go with songlyrics.com and census.gov – both of which are not optimized for mobile according to the tool:

Searchmetrics Suite - Mobile Visibility: songlyrics.com  Searchmetrics Suite - Mobile Visibility: census.gov

 

An Eye on the Winners

The opposite is true for encyclopedia.com. The Google Tool says, the page is optimized for Mobile and their Mobile Visibility goes up while the Desktop Visibility stays roughly the same:

Searchmetrics Suite - Mobile Visibility: encyclopedia.com

jcpenney.com shows an interesting trend. Last week, the domain dropped in Mobile, but this week, Mobile Visibility increased heavily while Desktop Visibility stays roughly the same. Guess what? The domain is mobile-friendly:

Searchmetrics Suite - Mobile Visibility: jcpenney.com

Massive winners are gq.com and washingtontes.com, both domains pass Google’s mobile-friendly test (here and here) – but regarding these examples, the Mobile trend is connected to a change of the Desktop Visibility. However, in the case of the latter, you see Mobile even surpassing Desktop:

Searchmetrics Suite - Mobile Visibility: gq.com  Searchmetrics Suite - Mobile Visibility: washingtontimes.com

Yet, there may also still be some domains in the list of this week’s winners and losers here and in the software, whose Visibility changes may not be related to the update or may have other reasons. For example the Mobile version of the domain huffingtonpost.com is huffpost.com. This is why these domains are on the respective list.

And as I said, there may be other reasons when also the Desktop Visibility is affected by specific changes equal to Mobile. This is why we have considered the relation to Desktop Visibility changes in the calculation for the winner/loser lists in this post and the PDF.

Mobile-Friendly: Now a Ranking Signal

Top 100 Domains Mobile-friendly?

In the run up to the update we have already carried out an analysis of how many of the top 100 SEO visibility domains are ‘mobile-friendly’. Result: As late as the beginning of April 2015, 16 percent had not been optimized for mobile devices. This included domains such as azlyrics.com, pbs.org, last.fm and nih.org.

It is fascinating to see that three of these domains were affected by Mobile Visibility losses already last week (although the Google tool says the homepage of the domain azlyrics.com is now mobile-friendly).

Conclusion: Massive Impact on Mobile Search Results

Our first analysis of the winners and losers of the Google Mobile Update shows some massive changes in the Mobile SEO Visibility. And when these changes happen without affecting Desktop Visibility, they are very likely to be connected with the Mobile Update.

Conclusion: Mobilegeddon is here – it may already have been rolled out some time earlier – and it may be not finished yet.

Incidentally, every Suite user can analyze Mobile SEO Visibility and Mobile Rankings now in the Searchmetrics Software here:
suite.searchmetrics.com/en/research/domains/organic/mobile

Affected by the Update? Here Is What You Can Do Now!

Have you been caught with a site that isn’t mobile friendly? If so, you should check your Mobile performance now! We will continue to check the data and provide updates as soon as we discover any new developments.

That said, it should be clear to everybody that Mobile as a topic as well as Mobile performance are of enormous importance. Moreover, I can’t say it often enough: Local parameters play an even more important role regarding Mobile than for Desktop. Keep that in mind.

This is Searchmetrics’ Solution for the Mobile Update

There have been some voices and comments hyping #Mobilegeddon (have you seen the load of Tweets with this hasthtag on April 21st? Incredible!). I admit, it has been crazy. But, Google does not play around and make such announcements just for fun. I think the update may even become bigger than some might expect it to be. How big of an impact it will have? We will only be able to know this once the data has settled.

And, for anyone who wants to catch up, I previously summarized the background, a short ‘how to’ and several answers to the most important questions on mobile optimization in the article Google Mobile Update: Everything you need to know!

How about you? Have you realized some effects on your traffic? I’m looking forward to a discussion in the comments!

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Who’s writing this stuff? My name is Marcus Tober and I’m the founder of Searchmetrics. Because we really love to analyze every kind of online data, we can give you more insights than any other company in SEO, SEM and Social Media. It’s not a job, it’s passion. You can find me also on Google+ .
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Comments (13)

Comments (141)

  1. 2015/06/19

    I just ran a mobile friendly test and page speed insights VIA GOOGLE on the tvtropes and it showed error occured. Possibly working on the site. My sites have had pretty good speed and mobile friendly prior to Google update and one site dropped about 4 pages. Some competitors sites have terrible speed and have not dropped and even increased without good overall SEO. My personal trainer site has bumped back up a few pages, but there are flaws in the Google update IMO.

  2. 2015/07/09

    My website is also Mobile-friendly. But I am not notices any major changes in traffic of my website since the update. still i have question Is this mobile update affetcs on any website?

  3. 2015/08/26

    It’s definitely had an effect, however in local search niches it’s harder to justify to potential clients, as sometimes even low quality sites are still showing up in the top positions simply because there’s (not yet) a competitor with a well structured and responsive site.

    Https has had a minimal effect so far, but I’m only testing this on a small number of sites so can’t say for sure.

  4. 2015/10/04

    Good analysis, my website traffic increased by 20-30% after this update. Looking for more traffic in future.

  5. 2015/12/29

    Hello very nice website!! Guy .. Beautiful .. Wonderful ..
    I will bookmark your blog and take the feeds additionally?
    I’m glad to seek out numerous useful information right here in the post, we’d
    like work out more strategies on this regard, thank you for sharing.
    . . . . .

  6. 2016/01/24

    Tremendous things here. I am very glad to peer your post.
    Thank you so much and I’m having a look forward to touch you.

    Will you kindly drop me a mail?

  7. 2016/02/01

    What’s up, always i used to check web site posts here in the early hours in the daylight, because i like to find
    out more and more.

  8. 2016/02/03

    Very informative article, lot of useful information for beginners looking for a quality article on google mobile.

  9. 2016/05/10

    Great post! We are linking to this particularly great post on our site.
    Keep up the great writing.

  10. 2017/01/06

    Mobile First – Well now over 50 % of my users search through mobile… So if you are not Mobile Friendly – You will get no traffic now 🙂

  11. 2017/03/16

    Google has really revolutionized the mobile industry. In fact it’s dominance is almost toppling over. The other players ought to up their game

  12. 2017/03/25

    Very impressionant concept about Mobile Friendly 🙂 We can learn much more about the quality of some websites.

  13. 2017/04/21

    Old post, but still relevant today as the % of mobile users keeps increasing. Usability and speed are really important factors to address when you want to keep Google on your good side. (and all your users ofcourse)

Trackbacks (28)

Comments (141)

  1. 2015/06/11

    […] major sites such as NBCSports.com and Census.gov saw a reduction in their rankings by as much as 76% as a result of the change. While many may complain, Google is simply responding to the market and what consumers want. Recent […]

  2. 2015/06/11

    […] Tobers, M. (2015, April 25). google mobile update mobilegeddon winners and losers us. Opgeroepen op Mei 3, 2015, van Searchmetrics: http://blog.searchmetrics.com/us/2015/04/25/google-mobile-update-mobilegeddon-winners-and-losers-us/ […]

  3. 2015/06/13

    […] one of the earliest posts about the impact of Mobilegeddon, Reddit got pointed to as one of the biggest losers. When I check their mobile visibility now, I can see they’ve completely […]

  4. 2015/06/14

    […] one of the earliest posts about the impact of Mobilegeddon, Reddit got pointed to as one of the biggest losers. When I check their mobile visibility now, I can see they’ve completely […]

  5. 2015/06/15

    […] one of the earliest posts about the impact of Mobilegeddon, Reddit got pointed to as one of the biggest losers. When I check their mobile visibility now, I can see they’ve completely […]

  6. 2015/06/18

    […] The only company I could find currently measuring mobile visibility, Searchmetrics, was able to provide unique insights into the impact of Mobilegeddon. […]

  7. 2015/06/18

    […] The only company I could find currently measuring mobile visibility, Searchmetrics, was able to provide unique insights into the impact of Mobilegeddon. […]

  8. 2015/06/22

    […] a week or more after the initial rollout of Mobilegeddon, experts did identify the winners and losers, with fiction writing resource TV Tropes, Entertainment Tonight, JCPenney, […]

  9. 2015/06/22

    […] lot of websites have suffered from this – Searchmetrics released a preliminary list of the winners and losers to show that the upgraded algorithm is taking effect. This shows that in the eyes of Google and […]

  10. 2015/06/25

    […] the major names took a hit after the Google update despite having mobile-friendly website designs. Search Metrics conducted a detailed study by choosing URLs of popular websites in different industry inches and […]

  11. 2015/06/26

    […] a zombie virus taking over the world, but they’ve still been felt across sites and SERPs.  Some search queries and keywords hurt some industries more than others. Webmasters and agencies that did make proper mobile changes to their sites are […]

  12. 2015/07/09

    […] SearchMetrics provided us with a provisional list of winners and losers from the update. Follow-up measures will need to be taken, as these results were pulled mere days after the update. Among the more notable losers was Reddit.com, with a 27% decrease in total online visibility, and a loss of 36% in their mobile/desktop ratio. NBCSports.com lost 28% of their overall visibility, with a -40% in their mobile/desktop ratio. SongLyrics.com (-26%, -47%), YoungMoney.com (-76%, -77%), Tennis.com (-37%, -47%), EBay.in (-64%, -43%), HuffingtonPost.co.uk (-74%, -82%), Google.org, ironically (-30%, -22%), and WalmartStores.com (-31%, -31%) are other big players who took significant losses. […]

  13. 2015/07/14

    […] Searchmetrics compiled a list of authority sites that lost and those that gained from the mobile update. Here are some of them: […]

  14. 2015/07/16

    […] make the necessary changes before mobilegeddon wiped out all of civilization.   The folks at Search Metrics took a look at the winners and losers of mobilegeddon by examining the immediate impact on popular […]

  15. 2015/07/17

    […] It is imperative to create a website that has a responsive theme. If you fail to do so, you may lose 30% of your overall traffic and also decrease your conversion rates. If your website hasn’t been optimized to be […]

  16. 2015/07/22

    […] regards to more well-known websites, Searchmetrics has provided a list of some initial winners and losers from Google’s mobile algorithm update. Some of the preliminary results […]

  17. 2015/08/02

    […] friendly update. Hopefully, Matt will update us in the future on how this affected traffic, but early results from SearchMetrics further demonstrate that there were clear winners and losers in this […]

  18. 2015/11/19

    […] posted the results here; some have already changed, because Mobilegeddon is still continuing to rollout. This area at […]

  19. 2015/11/27

    […] Google’in nisan ayinda yaptigi aciklama ile mobil sitesi / arayuzu olmayan sitelerin mobil siralamalarda pozisyon kaybedebilecegini soylemisti. Gecisten sonra hangi sitelerin mobil sonuclarda pozisyonu yukseldi hangilerinin dustu anlamak adina Searchmetrics guzel bir analiz yayinlamisti. […]

  20. 2015/12/24

    […] SearchMetrics […]

  21. 2015/12/29

    […] about a week after the change some big-name websites were affected: it seems Reddit.com, NBCSports.com and SongLyrics.com were the biggest losers, while others such […]

  22. 2016/01/06

    […] The other thing, mobile friendliness of website is needed to rank on the search engine. By updating Mobile Gaddon, Google outrank all the websites those are not mobile friendly. Even big brand like Reddit, NBCSports, Songlyrics, Youngmoneyetcalso get penalize for not having a mobile friendly website. Check out here the top looser and winner after mobile gaddon update. […]

  23. 2016/01/24

    […] lot of websites have suffered from this – Searchmetrics released a preliminary list of the winners and losers to show that the upgraded algorithm is taking effect. This shows that in the eyes of Google and […]

  24. 2016/02/18

    […] that had not been adapted were hit hard in their Google search ranking – in some cases, losing up to 50% of their visibility in Google search results on mobile phones. Being penalized by Google this way can be devastating. For virtual event organizers, who […]

  25. 2016/02/23

    […] Tober fra analyseværktøjet SearchMetrics meldte ud, at de kunne se signifikante ændringer i hjemmesidernes synlighed, og han mener, at der vil være […]

  26. 2016/04/24

    […] that Google launched lately, which impacted in at least 20% of loss traffic for A LOT of websites such as Reddit.com, NBCSports.com and several others whilst at the same time, it gave certain sites an INCREDIBLE amount of 770% increase in search […]

  27. 2016/07/21

    […] Searchmetrics compiló una lista de los sitios de autoridad que perdieron y aquellos que ganaron a partir de la actualización móvil. He aquí algunos de ellos: […]

  28. 2017/02/17

    […] rolled out what industry SEO experts call Mobilegeddon.  This is a change to the SEO algorithm to promote mobile-friendly sites and demote those that are […]

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