Data from Searchmetrics following the mobile update (#Mobilegeddon) suggests click-happy websites were the most affected by the algorithm change.

Reddit and Upworthy are both listed as being considerably touched by the update; directory type websites – Think Exist, AZ Lyrics and Lotto Strategies have also been hit.

This suggests that low-quality content and content spread over a number of pages has a limited lifespan on mobile.

The Mobile Update Results In Numbers

Upworthy saw one of the largest shifts, seeing mobile visibility drop 38%, Reddit saw decreases of 27%.

Data from our client base shows average mobile session increases of 9%. GQ – The Men’s Lifestyle Magazine – saw a mobile traffic increase of 67%, which highlights the impressive benefits coming from their focus on content and mobile usability, with users in mind. The statistics show GQ’s mobile to desktop ratio increased 19%.

Offering Mobile Update Perspective

GQ’s 67% increase in mobile traffic is an astounding result and demonstrates the work the web team has been carrying out technically as well as on content. Technical changes aimed at load times and UX.

Upworthy, for example, offers much less of a user experience than this, particularly in cases where articles are placed on multiple pages.

The results suggest that traffic might slow down for un-optimised multiple pages; these tend to be slow loading and not fully responsive to mobile devices, at times crashing.

Click-bait mobile content seems to be a key target of #Mobilegeddon.

What Future for Upworthy?

With such a large following, it is unlikely Upworthy will completely disappear.

However there is now a need for the website, other mobile publishers and businesses with non-responsive websites to consider the implications of this mobile update.

Upworthy, in particular, will need to consider a much more mobile-friendly experience to maintain its presence as a growing online publisher.

The figures highlighted do not yet tell the full story and are preliminary readings from Searchmetrics. It should also be noted that the update is still rolling out, so the final numbers may differ as the Google ‘settles’ the algorithm.


POLARIS is an organic search agency in London, contact us for more information on the Google algorithm change.

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