June 25, 2013

Research: Two-Thirds of the Fortune 100 are not Mobile-Optimized for Google

Based on impending changes to Google’s search algorithm for mobile, we assessed the top 100 Fortune 500 companies to see how those companies would fare if Google’s changes went into effect today. Today, we are sharing the results of this original research that sheds light on just how serious Google has become about mobile and how far most companies have to go in order to avoid costly ranking downgrades.

The results of our research were a staggering wake-up call that the road to mobile optimization is filled with faulty redirects, errors and missed connections for America’s largest corporations. A full 94% of the Fortune 100 face risk of downgrades in Google. Specifically:

  • 2/3 risk ranking downgrades in Google for not serving mobile versions of indexed pages
  • 1/3 serve some deep mobile content, but only 6% fully comply with Google’s requirements
  • Only six companies appear to be well-positioned for Google’s impending mobile SEO changes (Disney, GE, Humana, JP Morgan, HCA Healthcare and — not surprisingly — Google)

Fortune 100 Mobile Responsive Sites - PureO2Labs
Fortune 100 Mobile Ranking Risk - PureO2Labs

The Mobile Experience Matters

The experience your customers and prospects have when they visit your site from their mobile device or tablet is becoming increasingly important to revenue. A recent Skava report showed 88% of smartphone shoppers have negative experiences, 33% of mobile shoppers defect to a competitor after such an experience and 30% will never return at all! That’s the harsh truth and the stakes are only getting higher.

To put this experience into context, let’s look at a representative example. If you search for GM from your mobile device, the car company’s mobile site ( currently ranks at the top. However, at the time of this writing, if you click on the Chevrolet Division link from your smartphone, you’ll be met with a 404 error. Beyond the negative experience of reaching a 404 page for that mobile search, Google’s new rules put GM squarely at risk for a downgrade in mobile rankings.

GM-Mobile-Site GM-Mobile-404

SEOified Mobile Diagnostics

At this point, you’re probably curious how your own site fares in this race to be seen on the smaller screen. There are tools you can use to simultaneously check for faulty redirects, error pages and mobile configurations gone awry. Take a moment to see how your site stacks up for your iPhone, Android and Blackberry users as well as in the eyes of Googlebot. The free diagnostic tools include Mobile SEO Page Analyzer (quickly scan a single page for essential smartphone signals and mobile redirects), Mobile Site Analyzer (thoroughly scan up to 50 pages of your site for compliance) and Mobile Redirect Viewer (identify where faulty redirects and 404 errors may be causing mobile searchers angst).

Why Now?

Keeping up with Google’s countless algorithm updates can be challenging for any online marketer. But this latest change marks the first time the search giant is making a change so significant that it effectively punishes companies for failing to optimize their sites for mobile searchers. Those who are spending the Summer preparing their site for the busy holiday shopping season know that code freeze is only a few months away. If your website is not optimized correctly for mobile, you could face costly downgrades.

Talk to your SEO firm or work with trusted mobile search experts to guide the implementation of your mobile optimization efforts in preparation for Google’s upcoming update and beyond. Optimizing for mobile search is no longer an option; it is now a prerequisite for discovery in our smartphone-driven world.

For more about our latest report, read the release and coverage in Search Engine Land, Mobile Marketer, MediaPost and others. To request a copy of the full research, please email us at


  1. If 2/3 of the Fortune 500s are not ready imagine how many of the affiliates, VARs, resellers, etc. through which they sell are not ready. You always count on the Brand to have their stuff together, but if they don’t there is no way their channel partners that serve as their points of sale are ready – all the moving parts of channel marketing can be difficult to get your hands around. Distributed organizations (Brands) need to focus on getting their affiliates mobile websites in order just as much or more than the corporate presence. Those affiliate sites are where customers meet the brand and purchase products or move further along in the buying cycle. Let me know any comments any of you may have on that.

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