Did Recruitment Marketing Feel the Effects of SEO Mobilegeddon?

Did Recruitment Marketing Feel the Effects of SEO Mobilegeddon?

UPDATE: After a full month’s worth of traffic data, we wanted to take a look back to see what the effect on our sample was. The gap in Google Organic Search traffic was a bit wider than after the first week, and still favored the mobile friendly sites. The 50 responsively designed sites saw an average of increase in Google Organic traffic of


The sample of sites that have yet to adopt responsive design saw an average increase in Google Organic traffic of


It’s quite clear that Responsive Web Design is preferred by Google when it comes to mobile searchers, and those sites that are designed in such a way will be rewarded with increased visibility on searchers’ smartphones and tablets. So if you haven’t upgraded to RWD yet, get to it!

“Mobilegeddon” conjures up images of doom and gloom – websites completely vanishing from the screens of a nation of iPhone users’ Google search results. Think of it sort of like an SEO rapture. To quickly recap what that refers to, Google’s recent algorithm update on April 21st focused on the user experience for mobile users, rewarding sites that have great mobile user experiences with higher rankings.


Well, it’s been a little over a week since that update, so we thought we’d take a look at a variety of our own data to see how intense this impact was. Turns out, it definitely did move the needle, but was nowhere near the apocalyptic event that “Mobilegeddon” would suggest. I’d say maybe, “Little Moboost” for sites that deliver a solid user experience, or “Mobump in the Road,” for sites that still need to update to a mobile SEO strategy.

The Data

For a sample of 50 Responsively Designed websites compared to the previous week before the update, we saw Google Organic search traffic grow by:


For a sample of 50 websites that have not yet adopted Responsive Web Design (RWD), we saw Google organic search traffic decline by:


Google initially rolled out the ‘Mobile Friendly’ annotation within the search results back in November 2014, which gave webmasters fair warning to optimize their site for their mobile users. Now that it’s an official ranking signal, webmasters who have taken care of this in advance can enjoy greater organic search visibility.

What does this mean for my recruitment?

So what does this mean for your open jobs or recruitment content? Just from having a Responsive Design, the data suggest over a 12% greater chance of gaining organic visibility over sites that don’t align with Google’s desires. These may be passive job seekers just looking at what may be out there, the ones that aren’t hitting the job boards and aggregators heavily. The trusted nature of Google’s organic search results might just get that highly desired candidate to take the next step in their career search, and apply for your hard to fill job. TMP’s data shows that Organic Search Traffic is one the cheapest, most effective in terms of “Cost Per Hire” and “Cost Per Application”. The boost in organic traffic may save some money and help you better allocate other paid budgets elsewhere. You can also rest easy that job seekers are getting the best user experience possible from their smart phones and tablets.

For sites that have yet to adopt a mobile friendly user experience, this update should hopefully provide the necessary motivation to establish Responsive Web Design. In a competitive recruitment space, it’s important that you’re providing the best possible experience to job seekers who are increasingly using smart phones and tablets to hunt for jobs. It’s also clear that you’ll get rewarded in the search results as well with more organic search traffic from Google. However, Mobilegeddon may be a little bit of a stretch.

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John Elstad
Written by John Elstad

John Elstad is SEO Director for TMP Worldwide. He’s experienced a lot in his 10+ years of online marketing, but still has a passion to learn something new every day. When John isn’t trying to move up the organic search rankings or distilling analytics, he's usually on the golf course or enjoying a tea party with his two little girls. Connect with him on LinkedIn.

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