searchmetrics email facebook github gplus instagram linkedin phone rss twitter whatsapp youtube arrow-right chevron-up chevron-down chevron-left chevron-right clock close menu search

NEW: Mobile SEO Visibility – Prepare yourself for the huge Google Mobile Update on April 21st

How my website performs in mobile searches on smartphones is increasingly different to my desktop performance. Particularly now that Google has announced it will release an update on April 21st, which will have a significant impact on websites that are NOT mobile friendly. According to Google Webmaster Trends Analyst Zineb Ait Bahajji the coming Mobile Update will have a much stronger impact then any Panda update!

As a marketer, I now have to know how big this difference will be on my domain and where there is specific room for optimization. Because if the traffic from mobile devices continues to rise, and the wheat separates from the chaff, then I have only a few possibilities to find out the following points:

  1. What is the status of my mobile performance?
  2. What do I ideally have to do to improve it?
  3. What does my competition look like?

It is therefore even more important to have a basis of comparison in which the specific difference between my Desktop and Mobile Visibility can be recognized. Our new Beta-Version is now live providing you first indications on the Visibility difference:

Mobile SEO Visibility vs. Desktop Visibility - ScreenIndividual search results by device

At Searchmetrics we have been working on search differences between mobile and desktop for years. Therefore, we already collected & analzyed data last year for providing facts about differences of the Mobile SEO Ranking Factors. The split between mobile and desktop search results is measurable. At our last Mobile Ranking Factor study in 2014 the difference of URLs between Desktop and Mobile index was already 36%.

Difference Mobile vs Desktop

It’s for this reason that we have been tracking the same keywords for months in the mobile area as we have for desktop searches. This is, firstly, to see how the results keep differentiating more and more (which they definitely do) and, secondly, with the intention of giving our users the opportunity to have more evidence for their optimization.

And so, the time has come: the Mobile SEO Visibility (Beta) is now available as a KPI in the Searchmetrics Suite for all users, providing first indications for figuring out main differences between Desktop and Mobile SEO Visibility.

Comparability of Desktop and Mobile Visibility

The starting problem is: Desktop and Mobile cannot really be compared and analyzed to one another under real conditions. In the mobile area, there are different click-through-rates, search volumes, user intentions and the influence of local parameters on the search results is different.

Nevertheless, we want to make a comparison between Desktop and Mobile index possible and have converted our calculation of the normal SEO Visibility – which is based on a dynamic CTR calculation by machine learning algorithms – 1:1 to mobile. Why? Because we consider it to be intrinsic to prepare a mutual basis as a KPI in the form of this comparison. Especially to see how the performance is now and how it will change at April 21st.

The Mobile SEO Visibility will be updated weekly.

We have decided on an Android smartphone as a user agent. Differences between iOS and Android can occur, but in my opinion they are irrelevant, as the only differences that I have previously witnessed occur in queries for apps. For example, if you search for ‘netflix’, the Apple App Store ranks on an iPhone, whereas the Google Play Store ranks on an Android. This is also the reason why and show such great deviations in Mobile SEO Visibility. Other than this, there have not been any further relevant differences between these domains so far.

Mobile SEO Visibility with desktop comparison at a glance

From now on, there are new KPIs for the evaluation of Mobile SEO Visibility (Beta) in the research area. The new search result page of the Searchmetrics Suite in the research area looks like this:

Mobile SEO Visibility Research OverviewThe rank overview, which was previously displayed across the entire page width, has moved to a closed circular graphic on the left side – in favor of the new ‘Desktop vs Mobile’ KPI. By the way, we have dubbed this circular graphic ‘mojo’, as in Austin Powers, as it shows at a glance how much mojo a domain has in a respective country and which channel works best!

We have also pre-calculated the Mobile SEO Visibility on all subdomains so that you can see how a mobile subdomain, such as or, performs.

The new KPIs and possibilities at a glance:

  • Desktop vs Mobile Visibility – comparison of visibility on the same database
    • Difference been Desktop and Mobile Visibility (circular graphic with percentage overlap of the respective Visibility)
    • Trend desktop/trend mobile – to previous week
  • Mobile SEO Visibility (SEO research)
  • Mobile Paid Visibility (SEO research)
  • Mojo with the ranks for SEO, paid, social and links
  • Toplist domains (top 10/ top 100) comparison of SEO visibility desktop vs mobile

1. Recognize problem: same database for desktop and mobile

This ‘Desktop vs Mobile’ KPI offers the simplest way to create comparability between Desktop and Mobile Visibility performance. In order to ensure this comparability, we work with identical CTR calculation and search volume on the basis of desktop values.

2. Solve problem: individual data for mobile

We know that both CTR and search volume differ in the mobile area. We have already been working with mobile data for years and have even offered mobile rankings in the project area of our Suite since June 2013. Therefore, we recommend this new Mobile SEO Visibility (Beta) only be used as an indicator in order to understand how the performance between mobile and desktop differs.

For deeper analysis it is recommended to add projects and campaigns to the project area of the Searchmetrics Suite and to work with actual mobile data. In the project area, you can specifically add campaigns for cities, which more closely corresponds to the behavior of mobile users. If you aren’t yet a customer of our Suite, you are invited to talk to an account manager and get a demo version.

Specific analyses in the project area

For an optimum mobile measurement of performance, individual, local rankings for mobile with individual mobile search volume are necessary. We offer this data and functionality within the project area in the Searchmetrics Suite using more than 800 search machine/country/device combinations.

Organic Keyword Rankings per Device - Searchmetrics Suite Projet Area

Conclusion: From data comparison to deep analysis

The new ‘Desktop vs Mobile’ KPI can been seen as the starting point for recognizing how big the overlap between my Desktop and my Mobile Visibility is. Furthermore, the trend shows at a glance how my performance has recently developed. Due to the fact that this KPI is part of the research area, all users of the Suite benefit from this update, which spans not only the SEO but also the PPC area.

In order to be prepared for April 21 – Google’s mobile update – and thereafter, the tracking of concrete mobile rankings is required. This is already available in the project area of the Suite, taking into account also historical developments and individual data.

Check out the current status of your Desktop vs Mobile Visibility and start projects in order to track your individual performance.

Marcus Tober

Marcus Tober

My name is Marcus Tober and I’m the founder of Searchmetrics. Because we really love to analyze all kinds 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.

17 thoughts on “NEW: Mobile SEO Visibility – Prepare yourself for the huge Google Mobile Update on April 21st

  • Sander Tamaëla 2015/03/19 at 9:11 am

    When will this be available for the Dutch (NL) market? Would love to have this before the 21st of April 🙂

  • Organic searches and results will be soon to be impacted with this update.

  • Hi there, I sincerely hope Google tool for mobile check is accurate. It shows me my projects are mobile ready, but I guess I am going to find out for real on the 21nd of April :). Thanks for sharing, Matija.

  • This is exactly what most of us are waiting. Yes Of course impact of this update will boost mobile friendly sites.

  • I didn’t know that already exists a difference between mobile and desktop results. It’s increasingly important that websites are responsive nowadays.

  • Just give us the same line chart with mobile overlaid.

  • Hi,

    Still my websites are not responsive design.So anyone tell me if i am going to make is responsive design in one week.Will still it is affected by Google Mobile update?

  • I don’t think websites which are not responsive,will have more impact to their ranking on desktop serps than mobile serps.

    Rest will depend upon Google’s algorithm what are they considering to rank a website in mobile and desktop search.

  • Gulp, I’m a little bit nervous about this update, as my site isn’t mobile friendly! I just haven’t gotten around to it yet. But this will make me take mobile seriously…

  • Hey Marcus,
    This is an in-depth look into how Google’s algorithm change is going to affect our websites, and your developed method will really help with keeping track of changes as they roll out.

    In my opinion, I think the new update is a really good indicator of where we’re headed in terms of searching, and by placing a greater priority on mobile search, Google is helping push us further in this direction. I guess the next phase will be about us as marketers learning to increase visibility and usability on the mobile stage, opening up further the scope for marketing over mobile.

    I got to write an article on this recently. Did you want to check it out?


  • It seems that only mobile search rankings is affected by this update. So if you have low traffic from mobile platforms, dont be alarmed. It will have no effect on your desktop search results.

  • mobile update is welcomed and appriciable. Thanks for the clear analysis and tips.

  • marketing with video 2016/01/29 at 4:47 am

    After going over a handful of the blog posts on your
    site, I honestly appreciate your way of writing a blog.
    I added it to my bookmark website list and will be checking back in the near future.
    Please check out my web site as well and let me know what you think.

  • marketing search engine 2016/02/01 at 7:17 pm

    It’s actually a nice and helpful piece of information. I am satisfied that you shared this useful
    information with us. Please keep us informed
    like this. Thanks for sharing.

  • marketing search engine 2016/02/21 at 9:43 am

    I read this paragraph fully concerning the difference of most recent
    and preceding technologies, it’s awesome article.

  • increase traffic 2016/03/05 at 4:55 pm

    Hi there everyone, it’s my first visit at this
    website, and post is in fact fruitful for me, keep up posting these articles or reviews.

  • Great information. Mobile search ranking is equally important as desktop search ranking these days. But there are a few websites that may not be mobile friendly. How to run them on this platform? Looking forward to your revert. Thanks!

Write a Comment

Note: If you enter something other than a name here (such as a keyword), or if your entry seems to have been made for commercial or advertising purposes, we reserve the right to delete or edit your comment. So please only post genuine comments here!

Also, please note that, with the submission of your comment, you allow your data to be stored by To enable comments to be reviewed and to prevent abuse, this website stores the name, email address, comment text, and the IP address and timestamp of your comment. The comments can be deleted at any time. Detailed information can be found in our privacy statement.