The Effects of Google’s Mobile Friendly Algorithm Change Post #Mobilegeddon

The following data comprises various types of sites and pages. Based on the data and variability I’ve seen, the effects of any site will have a lot to do with the ratio of competitors for those keywords and how many of them are mobile friendly. For more competitive keywords, I would expect there to be a lot less movement, especially on page 1. For less competitive keywords, I would expect there to be significantly more movement, particularly past page 1.

A couple things to note:

  1. As more sites and pages become mobile friendly, this factor starts to cancel itself out – unless they change the signals and the 1|0 nature of the current algo.
  2. It will also be more difficult to measure over time until the mobile growth rate starts to plateau, especially vs the desktop growth rate. Year over year comparisons of a mobile friendly algorithm will be near impossible unless you’re tracking rankings of desktop vs mobile.

All data compares the 3 weeks before after the mobile algo launch week – and therefore excluding – 4/20-4/26 to account for the week-long rollout. All data is for Organic Google traffic only.

Sites that were not mobile friendly:

Site 1

  • Mobile: -28%
  • Desktop: -0.6%

Site 2

  • Mobile: -29%
  • Desktop: +1.1%

Site 3

  • Mobile: -25%
  • Desktop: -18%

Sites that were/are mobile friendly:

Site 1

  • Mobile: +15%
  • Desktop: +12%

Site 2

  • Mobile: +2%
  • Desktop: -0.7%

Site 3

  • Mobile: +14%
  • Desktop: +7.7%

Site 4

  • Mobile: +9%
  • Desktop: +2.5%

Site 5

  • Mobile: +2.6%
  • Desktop: -4.4%

Site 6

  • Mobile: +14%
  • Desktop: +2.4%

Site 7

  • Mobile: +5.8%
  • Desktop: +0.6%

Site 8

  • Mobile: +14%
  • Desktop: +2.7%

Data Shows Google Increased Its Local Listings 20-30%

Multiple data points show that Google has increased the visibility of its local listings by 20-30% and its local one box by ~10-20%.

It will be interesting to see if this sticks, for how long, and if they dial it up more. For pages that were displaced, that’s a significant drop of 7 spots. And in some cases, Google simply moved their local pack to the number 1 position so the first organic listing got bumped below the fold.

Mozcast shows 20% increase in Local pack visibility:
moz local pack visibility

Advanced Web Ranking shows 20-30% increase depending on how far back you go:
AWR local listing visibility

Mozcast also shows the local one pack increased about 10-20%:
Mozcast local one pack visibility

The Google Algo Sandwich

The Google Algo Sandwich

There appears to be a lot of movement with Google search results the last month. Based on all the chatter, Google has been busy in the kitchen cooking up one now it appears to be a common item on the menu: The Google Algo Sandwich. Google has different types of sandwiches, but the most recent one is a little more mysterious. As best we can tell, it includes the well-documented mobile algorithm update launched on April 21, plus recent chatter of Panda, Phantom, and Doorway updates or data refreshes starting around April 26 or so. Google also dialed up their own local listings by 20-30% over the last few days. Update: Google confirms they performed a Quality Update to their core algorithm.

Based on various data points, it appears there were noticeable updates around the following dates:

hubpages algo sandwich example

I’ve seen numerous charts that look very similar to this, with some sites experiencing one or more of the trends highlighted below. Hubpages is one site that announced a 22% decline because of a recent Google update. According to SEMrush, they saw some interesting fluctuations which highlight 3 out of 5 of the potential updates or data refreshes listed above:

Here’s another example from eHow:

ehow algo sandwich example

Not all sites saw losses and not all parts of the sandwich were poisonous. And it certainly appears that some shifts happened over different days which may indicate that it took time for some of these changes or data refreshes to roll out. Here’s an example of a winner:

algo sandwich example 1

algo sandwich plus local

Comparing Yelp Visibility for Explicit vs Implicit Queries After the Recent Google Local Algo Update (aka Pigeon)

The data, analysis and anecdotal evidence after the recent Google Local Algo update (aka Pigeon) is all over the map (no pun intended). It would appear that the results and changes will vary quite a bit by niche, but here’s a little more kindling to add to the fire…

In this limited set of data, Yelp saw a noticeable increase in visibility for implicitly local queries, and potentially a break-even or slight decline in visibility for explicitly local queries:

Implicit Queries

~30+ implicit queries, location set to Los Angeles, CA


~100 implicit queries, location set to Chicago, IL


Explicit Queries

~100+ explicit queries, location set to Los Angeles, CA


~100 explicit queries, location set to Chicago, IL