Nearly half of FTSE 100 face ‘Mobilegeddon’

Back in February, Google announced that, from April 21st, it would increase the importance of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal in its mobile search algorithm. In short, they gave website owners an ultimatum: fix your mobile user experience.

We’re now just one week away from the date their algorithm change takes effect and it’s clear that a significant number of companies are struggling to get ready for the change – to the extent that the web has dubbed the change ‘Mobilegeddon‘.

We thought we’d find out just how ready companies in the UK are for the change, and so analysed the websites of the FTSE 100 to see whether or not they were prepared.

Photo of City of London Skyline - Home to the FTSE
City of London – Home to the FTSE


Whilst we were expecting to find a few issues, we were shocked that nearly half didn’t meet Google’s mobile-friendly standard.

What we did

We ran each FTSE 100 company’s website through Google’s Mobile Friendly Test to find out whether Google considers each website ‘mobile friendly’ or not and recorded the results shown. All the testing was carried out on the 14th April 2015.

We found that 50 companies passed Google’s test and 47 failed.

Surprisingly, those failing the test included household names such as HSBC, Standard Life and Next.

A further three companies (M&S, Persimmon and Reckitt Benckiser) have separate mobile-specific websites which, whilst not following Google’s preferred approach to mobile-friendliness, would be expected to meet mobile-friendly standards.

The ‘Mobile Friendly Test’ Results

The full results of the test are below:

Results of the test of FTSE 100 websites

The most common issues we identified with the sites were:

  • Links spaced too closely together – making it hard for users to select the right link
  • Mobile viewports not being set – making the site appear bunched up
  • Text too small to read
  • Content wider than the mobile’s screen

The graph below shows which problems occurred most frequently:

Graph showing mobile errors found on FTSE100 Websites

Now, it’s possible that the companies that are not currently showing as mobile friendly are planning an update to their websites – but with just seven days to go until Google makes its algorithm change, they’re leaving it a little late.

What this means

It’s important to remember that just because Google doesn’t believe your site is ‘mobile friendly’ it doesn’t mean that users on mobiles can’t access your website.

What it does indicate is that there are likely to be problems for uses on mobile devices when trying to use the site, and Google has strongly indicated that if a website doesn’t pass this test it will have a “significant impact” on their search results.

With searches on mobile devices now accounting for over 50% of web searches, if your site doesn’t meet Google’s standards, 50% of your natural search traffic could be at risk.

What you should do

If you’ve got a website and aren’t sure about whether you’re going to suffer from ‘Mobilegeddon’, we’ve put together an review of the shifting patterns in mobile search, detail about Google’s change and what you can do about understanding the impact on your website.

If there’s more you’d like to know, or you need some advice, we’re happy to have a chat.

Get help now by calling us on 0330 010 9000 or fill in this quick form.