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Mobilegeddon is the name first dubbed by Chuck Price in a post written for Search Engine Watch on March 9, 2015. The term was then adopted by webmasters and web-developers to Google's algorithm update of April 21, 2015.[1] The main effect of this update is to give priority to websites that display well on smartphones and other mobile devices. The change does not affect searches made from a desktop computer or a laptop.[2]

Google announced its intention to make the change in February 2015.[3] The Economist found the timing "awkward" because they said "It comes less than a week after the European Union accused the firm..." of anti-competitive behaviors.[4] In addition to their announcement, Google published an article on their Google Developers page to help webmasters with the transition titled "Mobile Friendly Sites".[5] Google claims the transition to mobile-friendly sites was to improve user-experience, stating "the desktop version of a site might be difficult to view and use on a mobile device."[5]

The protologism is a blend word of "mobile" and "Armageddon" because the change "could cause massive disruption to page rankings."[6] But, writing for Forbes, Robert Hof says that concerns about the change were "overblown" in part because "Google is providing a test to see if sites look good on smartphones".[7]

Search engine results pages on smartphones now show URLs in "breadcrumb" format, as opposed to the previous explicit format.[8]


Based on their data set, software company Searchmetrics found that the average loss of rankings for the non-mobile friendly sites measured was 0.21 positions on average.[9] Content marketing company BrightEdge has tracked over 20,000 URLs since the update, and is reporting a 21% decrease in non mobile-friendly URLs on the first 3 pages of search results.[10] According to Peter J. Meyers it was “nothing to write home about”.[11]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Rolling out the mobile-friendly update". 2015-04-21. Retrieved 2017-05-11. We're boosting the ranking of mobile-friendly pages on mobile search results. 
  2. ^ Sanders, Sam (2015-04-21). "Google's New Search Algorithm Stokes Fears Of 'Mobilegeddon'". National Public Radio. Retrieved 2015-04-27. The change is only taking place on Google searches made on smartphones. 
  3. ^ Cellan-Jones, Rory (2015-04-21). "Google's 'mobilegeddon' - BBC News". BBC News. Retrieved 2015-04-27. Google gave plenty of warning, telling developers about the change in a blog post in February and providing a simple tool to check whether sites were mobile 
  4. ^ "Mobilegeddon". The Economist. 2015-04-20. Retrieved 2015-04-27. The timing is awkward... It comes less than a week after the European Union accused the firm... 
  5. ^ a b "Mobile Friendly Websites". Google Developers. November 15, 2016. Retrieved December 14, 2016. 
  6. ^ Curtis, Sophie (2015-04-20). "Google search overhaul could spark 'Mobilegeddon'". The Telegraph. Retrieved 2015-04-27. ...could cause massive disruption to page rankings... 
  7. ^ Hof, Robert (2015-04-21). "Why Google's Mobilegeddon Isn't The End Of The World For Most Websites". Forbes. Retrieved 2015-04-27. Overblown concerns ... Google is providing a test to see if sites look good on smartphones...  - Hof is referring to the Google Developer Mobile-friendly Test site
  8. ^ "Better presentation of URLs in search results". 16 April 2015. 
  9. ^ "Mobile Ranking Factors 2015". 
  10. ^ "Non-Mobile-Friendly Share of SERPs Decreases 21% with April 21 Mobile Algorithm Change". 
  11. ^ "7 Days After Mobilegeddon: How Far Did the Sky Fall?".