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Google’s ‘Mobilegeddon’ has double-figure impact


By Ronan Shields, Digital Editor

July 15, 2015 | 3 min read

Brands with websites not optimised for mobile have suffered a 10 per cent dip in traffic, as well as a 16 per cent increase in their traffic costs, or CPCs, since search giant Google began prioritising web properties specifically designed for smaller screens in its search rankings, according to Adobe.

The insights were revealed in the latest Adobe Digital Index, the first since the change in Google’s methodology – dubbed ‘Mobilegeddon’ – which also revealed a 10 year-on-year decrease in traffic to websites with a lower mobile engagement score.

Google declared itself a ‘mobile first’ company back in 2010, but it wasn’t until April this year that it began to actively prioritise those websites specifically designed to be viewed on wireless devices.

This has subsequently effected what Google charges perspective advertisers in keyword auctions, as those with better engagement rates – or Quality Score – are prioritised over those deemed to have less relevant content, hence those brands without mobile optimised websites have seen their CPC rates surge 16 per cent during the surveyed period.

Adobe’s Digital Index, which took its findings from the second quarter of this year, also observed a 1-2 per cent increase in its search traffic compared to the previous quarter, although this was down compared to 4-5 per cent growth 12 months earlier.

Meanwhile, Google’s display ad business saw a rise in clickthrough rates (CTR) of 24 per cent compared to the previous year, after it reduced the number of ads it serves to audiences by 22 per cent compared to 12 months beforehand.

The report also observed changes in the social networking sector, revealing that Facebook had almost halved the number of ads it serves to users (although those it does serve feature more prominently in a user’s feed) with CTR doubling as a result.

This statistic correlates with an earlier Adobe consumer survey, which recorded that 51 per cent of participants agreed that ads on their Facebook feed were more relevant than those they were served with on Google’s video-sharing site YouTube.

However, this increased ‘relevancy’ has failed to benefit Facebook in terms of how it monetises its audience, according to Adobe’s numbers, with the report concluding that the social network’s revenue per user (RPV) fell 17 per cent year on year to 91 cents.

This is compared to Twitter’s RPV which soared 64 per cent to 65 cents, according to the report, which compiles data from nearly 900 billion ad impressions recorded on leading digital properties, such as Facebook and Google.


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