Now We Have Liftoff: The First Examples of Google’s Mobile Friendly Algorithm In Action

Mobile-Friendly Algorithm Liftoff

4/21/15 was a date marked down in every SEO’s calendar with a giant red star next to it. That’s the day Google planned to roll out its mobile-friendly algorithm. They preannounced the update, which is rare, and Google explained it would have a significant impact on the smartphone search results.

But then 4/21 arrived and nothing changed. And I mean nothing… I’ve been checking a wide range of sites across categories and countries, and nothing changed at all.

That’s until noon today. :)

Then I started to notice differences in the desktop rankings versus smartphone rankings across a number of sites I’m tracking. Google did say it could take a week to roll out, so I’m sure this is just the beginning.

I’ve provided screenshots below of the initial examples. I’ll provide the domain, query, desktop ranking, smartphone ranking, and screenshots for both mobile and desktop. Note, I’ll try and update this post with more examples as time goes on.

Here we go:

Domain: Bargainist.com
Query: Eddie Bauer Sale
Desktop Ranking: 7
Smartphone Ranking: 16

Desktop: #7
Bargainist Mobile Friendly Algorithm

Smartphone: #16
Bargainist Smartphone Rankings Mobile Friendly Algo

Domain: Moz.com
Query: redirect
Desktop Ranking: 3
Smartphone Ranking: 13

Desktop: #3
Moz Desktop Ranking Mobile Friendly Algo

Smartphone: #13
Moz Smartphone Ranking Mobile Friendly Algo

Domain: atu2.com
Query: with or without you
Desktop Ranking: 11
Smartphone Ranking: 23

Desktop: #11
atu2 Desktop Ranking Mobile Friendly Algo

Smartphone: #23
atU2 Smartphone Rankings Mobile Friendly Algo
{Update 4/26:} I picked up another example of the mobile friendly algorithm in action. It’s an interesting one, as one url moved from #6 to #10, another jumped from page 2 to page 1, while another url slid to page 3 from page 2. Needless to say, moving from page 1 to 2 (or beyond), or vice versa, can have a big impact on visibility and traffic.

For the query “all of me lyrics”, MusixMatch.com (mobile-friendly) moved from #11 in the desktop SERPs to #8 in the smartphone rankings. Songlyrics.com (not mobile-friendly) moved from #12 in the desktop SERPs to #22 in the smartphone rankings (page 3), and lyricsmode.com (not mobile-friendly) moved from #6 in the desktop SERPs to #10 in the smartphone rankings.

Domains: MusixMatch.com, Songlyrics.com, Lyricsmode.com, Songtexte.com
Query: all of me lyrics
MusixMatch.com Desktop Ranking: 11
MusixMatch.com Smartphone Ranking: 8

Songlyrics.com Desktop Ranking: 12
Songlyrics.com Smartphone Ranking: 22 (page 3)

Lyricsmode.com Desktop Ranking: 6
Lyricsmode.com Smartphone Ranking: 10

Desktop SERPs (Page 1):

Mobile Friendly Algorithm All Of Me Lyrics

Desktop SERPs (Page 2):
Mobile Friendly Algo MusixMatch Songlyrics

Smartphone Rankings (Page 1):
Mobile Friendly Algorithm All Of Me Smartphone SERPs

Smartphone Rankings (Page 3): Songlyrics.com moved to #22 from #12 in desktop SERPs:
Mobile Friendly Algorithm Songlyrics.com Mobile SERPs

It was interesting to see the changes per query. For each of the sites, some rankings remained untouched, while others dropped. And then the rankings drop was sometimes only a few spots, where others were more extreme. This is similar to the smartphones ranking demotion case study I wrote about last year. Anyway, there’s a lot more data to go through before coming to any conclusions.

And these aren’t the only examples I’m seeing. Again, I’ll try and update this post with more examples soon.

Now back to testing. :)

GG