April 21 is a day that lived in infamy (or glory) for many websites, as Google started ranking sites with mobile-responsive design higher in its algorithm. Some companies are already seeing boosts in traffic, but slowly.
3Q Digital surveyed the recent performance of some of their clients’ mobile-friendly websites, finding that while some have seen an uptick in mobile traffic, others haven’t really moved the needle too much — yet.
Colin Guidi, director of SEO at 3Q Digital, shared with SocialTimes his thoughts about the transition:
What I’ve also been noticing is that you can’t simply flip-the-switch on a website. Allowing a desktop site to become responsive to various media queries and screen sizes does not at all guarantee a mobile-friendly site. To this day (about 3 days after the confirmed complete roll out) we’re seeing sites which have NOT been denoted as mobile-friendly, out rank those that are.
Visiting these sites via a mobile browser and slower processors shows that page speed and load time seems to be a heavier weighted ranking factor over this new mobile-friendly update. With responsive sites you have a heavier code base and can inherently have a slower load time while still passing Google’s Mobile Friendly Test. Responsive sites that fall into this bucket of being friendly but still outranked by non-mobile-friendly sites should take a look at their TTFB (time to first byte).
3Q Digital studied the performance of four clients:
- 1 – Medical company with a dedicated mobile site
- 2 – Real estate software company with a responsive designed site
- 3 – Legal software vertical with a responsive designed site
- 4 – Furniture retailer with a responsive designed website and dynamically served content
Client 1 hadn’t seen much of a change:
Client 2 reported similar results:
Client 3 actually saw a decrease after April 21, then a spike a week after:
Client 4, like the others, has seen normal traffic patterns:
Box Office Mojo:
The Fiscal Times:
Readers: How has your mobile traffic been affected by Google’s decision?