on April 23, 2015 Analytics Search

One Simple Report to Measure Google's Mobile-Friendly Update Impact

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On April 21, Google rolled out its mobile-friendly update. If you listened closely, you heard the online marketer community collectively start to hold its breath.

Reason being, the full impact of the update could be significant (either positive or negative). It will play no favorites, as all websites across all locations and languages are subject to its judgment. 

According to TechCrunch (@TechCrunch), this includes 40% of Fortune 500 websites, not to mention the thousands of small- and mid-sized businesses that struggle to justify the investment of a mobile or responsive site. 

How to Measure Impact

According to Google’s mobile-friendly update FAQ, the update rolled out on April 21, but sites may not start seeing the full effect for a week or so. 

To measure if, and to what extent, your site is impacted, there are a variety of reports in Google Analytics you can reference, including: “Mobile > Overview,” “Acquisition > All Traffic > Channels” and others. However, in most cases it takes some manipulation to see relevant details, and even then, everything you need isn’t in one place.

To help, we’ve created a custom report that filters out everything but mobile traffic from Google. Click the link below and follow the instructions to install it in your Google Analytics account.

Click Here to Install the Custom Report 

Once installed, you’ll be able to:

  • Track any fluctuations in mobile traffic from Google.
  • Evaluate both organic and paid traffic sources.
  • Flag any pages affected more severely than others. (The update is a page-level change, which means certain pages may be more heavily impacted than others.)
  • Drill into AdWords campaigns down to the keyword and ad level.

To track impact over time, set the main date range to start on April 21, and then click the “Compare to: Previous Period” check box. Wait to compile a week’s worth of data before jumping to any conclusions.

Other Mobile-Friendly Update Resources 

Below are sites to check out for tips to strengthen your site’s mobile capabilities. 

  • Is your site mobile-friendly (in Google’s eyes)? This tool will tell you, and suggest where to make updates. 
  • Mobile-Friendly Resources: Google has created several resources to help you comply with its mobile-friendly update. Access them here.


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Keith Moehring

Keith Moehring is the vice president of strategic growth at PR 20/20. He joined the agency in July 2006, and is a 2004 graduate of the University of Toledo.