Airlines and other big travel companies could be among those hardest hit by Google’s so-called ‘Mobilegeddon’ changes to mobile search criteria, two of Australia’s leading search marketing experts have warned.

Matt Ware from Dynamic Creative said that the older-style, legacy clients like some “pretty large multi-brand tour operators” will be hurt.

“Airlines are not even close to being ready for this,” he added.

Mr Ware said around 25% of Dynamic Creative’s clients have a fully functioning responsive website while another 30% to 40% have a cobbled together m. site.

Google began rolling out the update on April 21 and it’s expected to take two weeks to complete.

“I’ve heard stories of dropping 15 to 20 spots – going from spot 3 to 20, things like that.” said Mark Baartse from First Digital.

“It’s all anecdotal at this stage and things will become clearer over the next couple of weeks.”

“But Google rarely announces updates and so that suggests it’s going to be pretty big.”

Fundamentally Google is making  the changes to ensure that mobile consumers using its search engine don’t end up on sites that offer a poor user experience.

Mr Baartse said  about 80% of his clients have m. mobile or responsive sites.

Those that don’t will “very likely be screwed” by the change.

“Big sites are often worse because they have big clunky IT systems and move very slowly,” Mr Baartse said.

“We have one major travel client which we expect to get pounded.

“Anyone who doesn’t have a mobile means their users are already suffering, losing traffic and sales.”


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