Mobilegeddon So Far Has Been a Bust

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What was Google thinking when they back pedaled on the mobile search release?

Fresh from doing a SEO review of five client sites, I have to say that mobilegeddon is a bust, at least so far.

Google started the roll out of this much talked about algorithm that was to have impacted over 14% of the search results in the mobile search sphere on Monday April 21st. But as of April 30th, I was still seeing sites appear routinely in the mobile search space that were not mobile-friendly.

Does that mean that there was all this hype about nothing? No, not really. I suspect that Google got scared of crashing it’s search engine and money driver if it moved too fast to chop sites that had not moved into mobile. I suspect that they will over time tweak this as new sites enter the index that are mobile-friendly, but they have already back pedaled from their previous approach.

Earlier in the year in the pending change announcement Google stated that if you did not have a mobile-friendly site you would be dropped from the mobile index. Later, Google softened this approach to say, well maybe you’d be dropped, but if your website really matched the query best and even if you were not mobile-friendly they would show your site in the mobile results as most relevant – totally watering down the first announcement.

Then, Google AdWords reps started to say, well if your site is not mobile-friendly and you are using AdWords advertising, your non-mobile-friendly website would still show in the mobile results as an AdWords ads. Note the serious conflict here? Advertising vs. Search?

I think that as it got closer to the date, Google decided that there was too much money at stake and sites had simply not upgraded as they had thought they would.

I do suspect that over time there will be a “weeding” of sites from the mobile index but for now I think the change on Google’s part is being driven by a concern for a loss of revenue in AdWords and search relevancy versus the competition.

Mobile Bid Formula Designed by Google – How to Get Your Bid Right!

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McCord Web Services is a Google Partner and Nancy McCord is a Certified Professional.

This past month across a number of AdWords accounts I’ve started to see a drop in conversions as Google AdWords more strongly serves ads in the mobile space. With click costs, impressions and click through rates nearly the same as the past 30 days when there were healthy conversions, I had to dig deep to identify what was plaguing a number of client accounts.

I found that by serving more strongly in mobile, AdWords had forced my conversions lower. By adjusting the mobile bid using a formula that my Google Rep., Kelsey Bowers, shared with me this week, I am working to boost conversions back to the appropriate level.

Kelsey told me that Google has done extensive statistical testing to come up with this formula and I’d like to share it with you.

Here’s what I do. Go to the Campaign tab, then go to the setting tab, and then go to the device tab. Make sure that these columns in your view, if not click customize columns to add them – conversions, cost per conversion, and conversion rate.

By campaign use this formula to decide your mobile bid:

(Mobile conversion rate divided by Desktop conversion rate) -1 times 100 = mobile bid adjust up or down.

Make sure that before you finish, you look at your mobile versus desktop cost per conversion. If you are spending nearly the same budget or more in mobile versus desktop and have no conversions in either space do a 90% deduction in bid in mobile or wait to get more data to make a good decision on what is right for your needs.

I found that the ad serving changes that I saw this month reflected a big increase in ad serving in the mobile space and that I was paying too much for exposure at the expense of account conversion generation. With a few quick change our clients will be back on track in no time.

If you are looking for quality AdWords help to boost conversions and troubleshoot issues in your AdWords account, I invite you to find out more about my firm.

Even Google Itself Says Turn Off AdSense for Mobile

I have been working with the agency team at in the AdWords division. It seems that we got recognized not for being a Google AdWords Certified Partner, or for being a Google Engage for Agencies Member, but for managing so many accounts with a big ad spend. Yeah, maybe Google will send me a “token” Christmas present again this year.

Really kidding aside, I did want to share one very important point that Suzanne L. at the Google AdWords Agency shared with me.

“We recommend turning off AdSense for mobile in your content campaign. Our customers have found that the conversion rate is very low.”

Interesting! We don’t have too many clients advertising in content, but we do have a few. Of one that she and I looked at together a full one half of the clicks was being delivered in the mobile network. So, take it from the mouth of Google, turn off AdSense for Mobile if you are in the content network; save yourself some cash.

My Google AdWords Content Strategy

This is an interesting trend that I have seen across many accounts on Google AdWords: conversions to sales from the content network.

So, if you have an AdWords program what is the best practice for trying out content without it sapping your entire click budget? Well, this is what I do. First, I do not move into content until the account is mature and is generating conversions. Typically I start an account out slowly. We start with only, then expand to search partners. Once we have health and a nice conversion history, I set up a separately funded content campaign and use a small very general keyword list for content. I typically spend around $.10 to $.75 per click depending on the product and typically keep the budget at $5 to $20 per day depending on the overall advertising budget.

I roll the content program for two to four weeks and evaluate if content looks like a bet for the customer in regards to generating conversions. I have had good success with this strategy and have really been able to stimulate additional conversions for certain accounts. I have however found that not all products and services are a good match for the content network. From my point of view the key is the budget delimiter and general but on target keyword list.

Try this out on your AdWords account and let me know how this works for you. You may find out that using the content network smartly you can increase your account conversions with a realistic return on investment.