How fast is the mobile friendly algorithm?

  • 1
  • June 11, 2015
Tom Armenante

Tom Armenante

Account Manager

Mobilegeddon – as it was so dramatically named – wasn’t quite the game changer that everyone was worried about. At least not yet.

Very few, if any, sites completely dropped out of the search results as a result of not having a mobile friendly site. However if you didn’t have either a mobile specific site or a responsive site then your site will have suffered in the rankings, where you will have been likely to lose out to competitors that do have a mobile friendly offering.

What happens when you go responsive now? are one of Branded3’s clients who moved to a responsive site design last week after having no mobile site at all. The domain’s mobile rankings were suffering dramatically due to the fact that the site was not mobile friendly, as can be seen below. As soon as the new site launched it only took two days, enough time for the site to be recrawled, for the rankings to see a sharp improvement.

This perfectly highlights the speed at which the mobile algorithm takes into account the changes in a domain. As soon as the site was recrawled the visibility of the domain on mobile increased to levels far past where it was before the mobile algorithm was rolled out. This will be due to the domains within the ecigarette industry that still don’t have a mobile friendly site, as won’t have only regained where it once was but will also have overtaken non-mobile friendly competitors.


What happens when your redirects don’t work?

ToysRUs have also been seeing massive movement in their mobile organic visibility lately, having moved to a new mobile site. Unfortunately this hasn’t been a positive movement. It seems the ToysRUs mobile site was placed on the and has since been moved to This movement in visibility has come about due to the redirects being placed on the mobile site as 302s instead of 301s. Subsequently, Google has been unable to follow the redirects, resulting in the loss of visibility as shown below.

Toyrs r us


Toys r us horizon


The SEO Strategy team at Branded3 think this could potentially be down to two different issues. Either Google is treating the 302 redirects as 301s, which it has been known to do after a long period of time. However, this could potentially be happening a lot quicker due to the authority of the domain.

The other potential reason for the drop in visibility is the redirect chain that has been applied to the majority of the URLs that were ranking. For example, the term ‘stunt scooter’ was in position seven on 24/05/15.

The ranking URL now follows this chain:

Which 302s to this URL –

Which then 301s to this URL –

This is another reason that the mobile isn’t ranking as high as it should be.

Even though the mobile site has had a slow start due to 302 redirects that were implemented, these have been changed to 301 redirects so the visibility according to Horizon should dramatically increase in the coming weeks.